Occasional ramblings: Work, leisure, heart and lungs.

8 August 2016

Posted by Mark 7 years ago


Wear your festival trousers every day.

Wear your festival trousers every day.

I've not long come back from Bestival. It's a family-friendly festival in Dorset. Apart from getting "raver's arms" from a long Fat Boy Slim session, embarrassing my youngest two kids (12 and 17)  and being mildly irked by the shit that people leave everywhere; my abiding feeling is one of sadness. I'm sad that for many this weekend is the only time they feel confident enough to walk around shoe-less, blow giant-sized bubbles, wear their festival trousers with pride and generally be themselves.

When the big kids were little (they're 22 and 20 now) we went to Center Parcs a couple of times. I called it theme park civilisation. Just for a few days you'd park your car away from your accommodation, cycle and walk everywhere, shop locally, eat locally, exercise, play with the kids, do yoga or tai chi, speak to strangers. Then go home and be a bastard again. Or at least gravitate back to a more insular and closed way of being.

But a weekend of being you isn't enough. I want a lifetime of being me. I want to do things that quicken my pulse, that make me proud, that celebrate my quirkiness. My friend and mentor James Victore says "the things that made you weird as a kid make you great today". He's right. The foibles, the quirkiness of childhood, unshaped by societal expectation are our point of difference. We've spent the years since adolescent smoothing the rough edges off ourselves to fit in. Yet it's those rough edges that make the work that you do sticky; that differentiate you from others; and that will inevitably help you be successful.

Don't retire wishing you'd been to more festivals, wishing you'd taken your whole self to work, wishing you'd backed yourself and that crazy idea you had. Wear your festival trousers (or space helmet) every day and be who you want to be not who you think you should be. Do the things you were born to do.

Better people make better businesses, better businesses make a better world.


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