Leonard Cohen died yesterday at the too young of an age of 82. He was part of my personal brand.
What is your personal brand? You can read about it in other articles I have written on the subject in the rest of the site. It suffices to say that it is who you project yourself to be to the world around you and their perception of you.
My personal brand is an accumulation of all the influencers, ideas, teachers, peers, bosses, colleagues, friends, books, TV shows, movies, individuals, discoveries and belief systems that formed my own perception of what it means to be Tom Dougherty today. Without my brand, I would wake up every day confused and without a rudder. It is exactly that memory of myself that directs how I live today.
The importance of personal branding helps my small society of human beings function. When we think about the orbit of objects in our lives, we all see ourselves as the center of that universe, The Sun, if you will, around which everything else orbits.
In a small way (even as it is ego centric), it is true. Others can navigate our foibles and tap into our strengths because they are aware of our brand and feel confident in predicting our actions and their reactions to it. It’s different than reputation because it is not simply an accumulation of facts. It also is a measure of our emotions.
Leonard Cohen is representative of branding
As I get older, I have come to realize that many of my brand precepts are older than me. The religious beliefs that influence me are more than 2500 years old. The heroes of my youth have long since died. Most of my heroic figures, as I think about it, are at least my age. I have respect for many people who are younger than me, but they are not part of the foundations of my personal brand.
Still writing and singing until days before his death, here is a single from Cohen’s heralded new album— You want it darker.
Leonard Cohen was one of those building blocks. I was touched by the fire of his music and poetry in my youth. He has helped form my sense of self and forged part of the preceptive fabric of ME.
Lyrics From Suzanne
And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them”
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind.
Leonard Cohen is not the first part of my brand to pass away. Much had passed away long before I adopted them or it. But part of my sense of myself died yesterday. It is with a reflective heart that I wanted to say thank you to Leonard Cohen for a life well lived. You touched my perfect body with your mind.
Leonard Cohen, rest in peace. 9/21/34-11/10/2016