Sanjeev Kotnala: Never too late to create ‘BRAND-i’

19 Oct,2016

By Sanjeev Kotnala


Every action of yours, voluntary or involuntary, conscious or unconscious is being absorbed by your surrounding ecosystem. Each element in the ecosystem is distorting, deleting and generalising to make the impressions acceptable to their belief system and experience. ‘BRAND-i’, is the real net residual impression or perception of you the other person carries in mind.

Your actions pass through thousands of filters you have no control of. All you can do is to be very cautious and clear about sending the right signals and messages, hoping that they will be decoded well and not be misunderstood.

In real life, that is asking for something impossible. Think of yourself. Think how do you react and act. People are no different. We make our impressions based on consistency of experiences. So, do others. Like us, they are busy creating a polarised perceptional matrix. None of us likes ambiguity. Our mind is comfortable with patterns and needs to slot everything. We take our pick within the paired associations and brand everyone.

You are an extrovert or introvert, Proactive or reactive, Leader or follower, team player or individualistic, organised or disorganised, punctual or late, dependable or not, approachable or not, fair or biased, aggressive or soft, aware or unaware. I would presume you will not like to be branded by default. I am sure you have not taken conscious steps to ensure being tagged with right associations.

There are many elements in your personal capacity stopping you from taking the right choices and actions. It is ultimately about the belief system. You will do something only if you believe you need to do it.

Many of these beliefs hold us back and impact multiple parts of our life, behaviour, reactions, impulses and the signals that others pick up from them. This damage, our life and our capability to exploit the potential we have.

Many of us believe ‘It’s too late, or we are too old’. Oh, yes, age seems to be a definitive barrier for few things in life. However, we all have read, shared and admired examples of people getting into new sphere or restarting their lives at an age we would consider impossible. Take the example of Colonel Sanders who had his magic chicken recipe at 49.

On the other side, most of us have learnt to be realistic in our approach, desire and ambition. And there is nothing wrong about it. I know I am most likely not going to take that Bunge plunge from Macau tower, and it does not make me less adventurous then the time in my late forties when I took my first sky jump.

It is up to us to decide, if we need to take specific actions to create our ‘BRAND-i’ .

If you do not have any further ambition and passion or a need, or in case you are fully satisfied by the image you think people have of you, you may not consider taking any steps toward creating your brand. And that is understandable. It is your decision. However, I believe that there are elements that you wish to control and reshape in your life. I have no hesitation in saying that complacency with the current state is like death. I am sure, that you are not the one who has no desire to create or further sharpen the ‘Brand-i.’

There is no compulsion to do so, there never will be, whatever you will do, will be done, because you want to do it, you want to reshape and redesign perceptions of yourself.

‘BRAND-i’ is always work-in-progress. It is like perfection; you never reach the ultimate destination. Your desires, ambitions and needs get redefined with every fresh set of successes or failure.

There is no magic wand for creating ‘BRAND-I’. We have a process that is available for learners, and we keep tweaking that for individual needs. ‘BRAND-I’ is customised for individuals.

One of the integral parts of life is – failure. All of us know that from our first-hand experience. The trick always is to learn from our failure, making something much more out of the undesired results by learning from them. Take the setbacks and reorient our efforts to create the ‘BRAND-i’.

Every effort you make, should be aimed to create the right desired perception. To give that extra impetus to the ‘BRAND-i’ you wish to own. There is no way you will ever fail in a long haul.

The past does not equal future. It never did. Past is not even directional representation of future success or failure. The only way to negate the negatives or failures is to create huge impressions of positives and success.

What is your ‘BRAND-i’ today? It is the residual impression of your past impressions. That is like the story you have read. It is over. You have no power to change anything. Nevertheless, the future remains on your hand. Future is the playground, a canvas you are yet to fill with the colours you want and create a picture. Just keep on making one stroke at a time. Keep at validating, strengthening or destroying the impressions of the last experiences.

It will be completely foolish to believe that we can choose to drop our past. We cannot. However, we can leverage it or blur it by our future acts. And a lot of what we do, comes from the learning’s from the past.

I will be surprised if you have never suffered a silly question like; What will people say? What will happen if when you suddenly press pedal on your strategic actions to create a desired brand image? I have personally experienced it, and it held me back, until came a stage where I learnt my lesson. People will say not just something, but a lot more and everything- anything they want to. It is referred as freedom of expressions. And in the process, they delete and distort their experiences. It is natural. It is again up to you how you react. I am sure; you would not want to be seen as a person who is affected or discouraged by such acts.

I think you will always want to write your own destiny. You internally know; you can only control the message you send out and not the impressions created. Nevertheless, with quick steps, you can always tweak them. Moreover, the magic of consistency will help aligned reactions to make the synergistic impact you wish for.

Remember, even at the peak of it, there will always be people who will have an undesired impression. There will never be a time, when all supports you. You should be happy with the set that does support you and the set of people who do not see the life like you do. Thank them, as they help you in cross-examine your beliefs and impression. They help you create a route map to implement the desired actions.

Many of us have a perpetual self-defeating attitude of considering ourselves not good enough. This hinders us further when we speak about creating a Brand of our own. ‘BRAND-i’. I will again say, you want or not; the brand is being created. I am sure; you are a not the kind of person who will allow it to get out of control.

You are good, and you can be great at whatever field you choose. You can learn the desired skills and hone your talent. Remember, everyone started not being the expert in the filed. A successful actor, speaker, cricketer painter was always a bad actor, speaker and cricketer at some stage.

Successful people are often surprisingly ordinary, until they make up, their mind and are clear about what they want to do and achieve.

There may be many toxic self-beliefs holding you back? None of us would want to be branded by default. We have wishes, dreams, behavior and ambitions coloring our unique brand. I invite you to re-examine everything. There is no compulsion to act. However, I know; you are a person with a vision and tonnes of ambition. You will explore the power of ‘BRAND-i’ to catalyze your lives. I invite you to take this step. Don’t let destiny brand you by default.

For spectacular results in ‘BRAND-i’, you do not have to do anything really spectacular. However, you need clarity of thoughts and consistency of actions and experiences. Cultivating the desired ‘BRAND-i’ is essentially an act of selfishness. It is deliberate and planned. It is a must.

Because of the self-imposed biases, it is impossible to work on ‘BRAND-i’ in isolation. You need a coach, a mentor or a programme to push the right triggers. You need someone external to help you see your life from a differential point of view. Push you to raise questions and find hard answers. To accelerate your thinking and decision making. To shape up your mind to create a desired path of action.


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