One Life, One Brand: Lessons from Confucius

As I write this, the world feels a little different to me. Just last week, my dear mother, Derline Nacion passed away.

In the quiet that followed, life’s big questions began to stir within me.

What is our purpose here? How can we make this fleeting life count?

And, how can we ensure that what we do aligns with who we truly are?

In this period of existential contemplation, I found myself turning to the enduring wisdom of the philosopher Confucius. It was a quote I stumbled upon while practicing my morning gratitude in the Five Minute Journal.

“We have two lives, and the second begins 
when we realize we only have one.”

This simple yet powerful thought encourages us to live authentically, honestly, and with purpose.

For me, my purpose is kindness. It’s the fabric of my soul, woven into every interaction, decision, and moment of my life. And this extends beyond my personal sphere – it’s a fundamental part of my work, my brand, and the impact I aspire to make in the world.

Branding isn’t just about attractive logos and catchy taglines. It’s a reflection of who we are. It’s the promise we make to our customers, the values we uphold, and the experience we deliver. It’s a living, breathing entity that evolves with us, yet stays rooted in our purpose.

Imagine your brand as a mirror, reflecting your purpose out into the world. When your brand’s actions are aligned with this purpose, it becomes a light that draws in those who share or admire your values. It resonates with authenticity and builds trust.

Authentically Yours, Automatically Theirs

The magic of blending your purpose into your brand creates something undeniably special – a brand that is unmistakably and authentically ‘you’. This purposeful authenticity, glowing brightly, has a magnetic pull on your audience. In an ocean of precision-targeted marketing messages, it’s the honest, the sincere, the ‘human’ that truly shines through.

What you’ll find is this – when you are authentically yours, you become automatically theirs. Your customers recognize and resonate with the honesty you bring. They feel a sense of ownership and connection with your brand because it feels real, and it feels relatable.

Think about it. 

In a world filled with tailored marketing messages, it’s the genuine, the real, the ‘human’ that stands out.

You don’t have to look far to see the truth of this. Brands that have embraced their authentic purposeful selves are those that people remember, engage with, and even champion. It’s because these brands reflect something real, something relatable.

Yet, you might be thinking, “Branding seems like quite a journey. How do I even start moving in this direction?”

Taking Confucian Action

If you feel your brand isn’t achieving what you envisaged, heed the advice of Confucius: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”

Perhaps it’s not about reinventing your brand, but aligning your actions more closely with your purpose.

I know this may sound daunting. But remember, every journey begins with a single step. Start by identifying your purpose and values, and think about how they can shape your brand. Be open to feedback, be ready to adjust, but stay true to your purpose.

To help guide you on this journey, I’ve put together a Your Purposeful Branding Journey Worksheet that provides a roadmap for purposeful branding. It offers step-by-step prompts to help you connect your purpose to your brand and translate it into tangible actions. I encourage you to use this worksheet as a tool to navigate your journey to authenticity.

This period of my life has reinforced the urgency of living and leading with purpose. And, I hope that by sharing my reflections and this simple tool, you too will find the inspiration to infuse your life and your brand with purpose.

We only have one life. Let’s make it count.

Wishing you all my very best,

Kalika Yap
Founder, Citrus Studios