It’s 93 again here in The Valley and I was driving around in air conditioning, feelingput out by the heat and wishing I had a big bucket of ice. Not for "The Challenge." but just to dump over my head. And then mine hit me.
I suddenly remembered the last line of an e-mail my friend Doris Dillon sent me in 2001.. It read,“Let Your Life Be Beautiful." It was typed four months after Doris was no longer able to speak or eat without a tube but was still showing off the extraordinary spirit that got her loved by so many, featured in Time Magazine and finally taken out by ALSlike a tornado.
This blog is not about ALS. It’s about Doris’ last words – words I never saw before or since strung together in one sentence: “Let Your Life Be Beautiful.” Not “Make Your Life Be Beautiful,” but “Let it Be Beautiful.” As in, 'wake up it already is!" Ice bucket over thehead.
Letting Life Be Beautiful is what I believe also sparks the seed of an author or business that we choose again and again as our brand. A great brand’s realbeauty is in the intangibles - consciously or not, it challengesour perceptions of what’s possible; turns them upside down and dumps a metaphorical bucket of iceover us that’s disarming. meaningful and delightful. It's our art.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is one of these brand masterpieces that caught people by glad surprise peopleby looking into and underneath “the way” a non profit should ask for donations. It reads into our hearts and minds and mixes it up -the deadly serious with the seriously alive. And in two months it also raised close to 42 million dollars for ALS. Unheard of.
On behalf of my dearfriend Doris. whosevoice and bright eyesI feel now dancing across my keyboard, “thank you. Well done!”
On behalf of any who may be laboring this weekend trying hard to brainstorm and create the next big challenge or brand, maybe it'snot about using our brains but letting your brand be beautiful. And stayingopen enough to seeing what you've truly got of value. It’s simple but the hardest thing we may do in our businessespecially by ourselves. And it’s my idea for a Challenge.
Try it on, pass it on, dump ice over your head, stack cubes in your glass andwhen ready, identify, amplify and be the story you knowonly you are here to tell. In the end, that's our best if not only chance for having a loved brand that can survive and then fill the bucket. Wishing you and all you love a beautiful Labor Day weekend. Thank you for reading! I'd love to hear from you if you just have a question or I can help you in any way. I'llget back to you. Leah