Alp Kaan Aksu

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Say who you are

Few days ago, I came across this talk by Charlie Kaufman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRfXcWT_oFs&t=480s

Since then, I think I listened to the following quotes daily!

When I think about how to live my life and what to do with my time, or when I discuss about those topics with friends, I usually come to the conclusion that I want to lead an authentic life. I want my life to reflect who I am.

Say who you are. Really say it in your life and in your work. Tell someone out there who is lost, someone not yet born, someone who won’t be born for 500 years. Your writing will be a record of your time. It can’t help but be… but more importantly, if you’re honest about who you are, you’ll help that person be less lonely in their world. Because that person will recognize him or herself in you. And that will give them hope.

I really like the idea of saying who I am in my life. But how do I know who I am? How do I know that I am being honest about who I am?

Don’t allow yourself to be tricked into thinking that the way things are, is the way the world must work and that in the end, selling is what everyone must do. Try not to.

As he also says it in the video, everything is marketing today. Even we, as humans, try to market ourselves and prove that we provide enough value. I tend to believe that I am trapped in the system and blame it for my inauthentic life. But it is not true. I actively choose what I do everyday and how I live my life. Thinking it is easier to take the standard path, sure. Thinking I can’t change my life because I don’t know what the alternative would even look like, sure. But thinking that I am trapped, or even worse, forced, no. I am just on the path of least resistance.

We should actively look for authentic paths and actively try not to sell.

The world needs you. It doesn’t need you at a party having read a book about how to appear smart at parties. These books exist, and they’re tempting, but resist falling into that trap. The world needs you at the party starting real conversations. saying “I don’t know”. Being kind.

This is another call to be authentic. The book on appearing smart at parties might help with continuing the small talk for a few more minutes, but it doesn’t help with genuine natural relationships.