by Joanna Norman
I recently read that a research study showed that the average American child can recognize 1000 corporate logos. That says a lot about how inundated we are with marketing – yikes! Logos help corporations make money. What if you could harness the marketing power of a logo for your own good? What if you had your own personal logo that could serve as a touchstone to help you create a better life?
Last summer in the midst of the global pandemic, I was in the process of overhauling my life, including a career change and embracing minimalism. I knew I needed to make some major changes in order to survive, heal, and thrive. I was inspired to create a logo of sorts that I could use to keep in touch with my why, my goals. My life logo has become a tool I use almost daily. When I am making a decision, especially one I am struggling with, I look at my logo. It helps me to stay anchored to the life I am creating everyday.
Here’s my life logo. It’s designed to resemble a patchwork quilt. (What can I say? I’m a quilter, and I do some of my best thinking with a needle and thread in my hand.) Each of the 4 squares contains one word which keeps me focused on what I am doing with my life and why.
Be. This square is to remind me to be alcohol free. Was I an alcoholic? No, but what if I was? Did I use alcohol to escape my sadness and grief? Did I drink in order to feel relaxed and free from worries? Yes and yes. So I decided to do an experiment and see how I felt without alcohol – 290 days later, I can tell you the answer is I feel better without it. But sometimes, a glass of wine still sounds so nice, so I look at my logo. It provides a quick reminder that I like my life better without alcohol.
Create. My goal here was to create my own transcription business, and I’ve done it. A few weeks ago, I was offered a full time job in my old line of work. For a few minutes I was tempted to accept the offer – great people to work with, a predictable income, benefits – but I remembered my logo and all the wonderful things I have been able to create in my life because of my business – time to hike, time raise a puppy, time for yoga, less stress, and on and on. I turned the offer down and haven’t looked back.
Simplify. The goal here is to embrace minimalism and all the gifts that choosing simplicity adds to my life. This is a work in progress, and I am already reaping the benefits of choosing simplicity. For example, a few Saturdays ago a neighbor knocked on my door to drop something off. We ended up sitting on the front porch, and chatting for an hour. It turned out we both needed to talk. Before choosing simplicity, I would have been too busy for a spontaneous hour-long chat with a neighbor. Now, I was able to sit, relax, enjoy a beautiful day, and support and be supported by a friend. Thank you, life logo!
Connect. I want to connect with people in authentic, meaningful ways. This is another work in progress and has definitely been challenging during the pandemic. Still, having it as part of my logo helps me to make choices that lead me in the direction I want to go.
There you have it, my life logo. Four simple guiding words that make every decision, if not easier, certainly clearer. For example, if I am considering a new project or a new hobby, I revisit my life logo. Does this new activity help me to remain alcohol free? Will it help me connect to other people? If it doesn’t fit in with all of the squares in my life logo, then the answer is no. Easy peasy.
Like a quilt, I imagine that this logo will get some wear and tear. In the future, I may need to mend a square by changing the word, and that is ok.
What do you think? Would having your own life logo be a useful tool for you? If you are inspired to make a life logo, please let me know and share your logo in the comments below if you’d like.