Be the change you want to see in the world.
– Gandhi –
When I was in 4th grade I was assigned the role of Marie Antoinette in a school recital about the French Revolution. Although I was one of the main characters I couldn’t really sympathize with her. Instead, I would for the revolutionaries that were so much more interesting and passionate about their ideals. Marie Antoinette to my eyes was just a stupid and spoiled little bitch that had nothing meaningful in her life. She’d just spend tons of money on her wardrobe and throwing off parties and she couldn’t care less about the people suffering. When they cut her head off at the end of it all, I thought she deserved it.
Cut to 2017, I feel like the dictatorship in modern times is held by media. People spend more time in the virtual world than in the real one, there’s a rising inability to interact with one another in person, being young beautiful and having a 5 stars life seems to be the only thing that counts. We’re great at pretending that our life is amazing even when we feel miserable. We are afraid to express ourselves because we fear other people’s judgment. If we don’t get “Likes” we get frustrated. We created an economy based on consumerism where quantity matters more than quality and we are brainwashed to change wardrobe every season in order to be accepted and “trendy”. We are not being able to appreciate people and the small things anymore because we engaged into comparison and we came to believe that there’s always something better out there, “Hey, if we see it on Facebook and Instagram it must be true!”.
I want a Revolution!
The word “Revolution” has many definitions and all of them have one thing in common: Change. It can be a fundamental change in political organization, an activity or movement designed to effect change in a socioeconomic situation, a fundamental change in the way of thinking about something or a change in use or preference (i.e the internet revolution).
A revolution starts with an idea that has the power to affect a behavior, a community or even the entire humankind for the better. It’s is not a selfish act, it involves and aggregates people. If the power and the benefits are concentrated in one person’s hands only, then it’s a dictatorship.
It takes great courage to be a revolutionary and that explains why only a few people become great leaders and succeed in their mission. Revolutionaries are aware from the beginning that the journey they’re about to embark on won’t be an easy one. They’ll have to face countless obstacles in order to succeed: conformity, rules, society, religion, media, powerful industries, common opinion and the list goes on. They know for a fact that they will have to go through some dark times before they can start to taste the flavor of victory. However, their motivation and the desire for a better world are so passionate and strong that they are willing to embrace all the challenges that are going to unfold along their path. They are rebels with a soul. They are willing to break the rules if necessary and sometimes even to die for their ideals. Think of the greatest revolutionaries in history and how their work has changed the world and left an indelible legacy. Humanity will remember them forever. Here’s a short list to get you inspired:
Plato and Socrates revolutionized philosophy and set the foundation for a higher learning. Jesus Christ revolutionized religion and spirituality. Christopher Columbus sailed towards the unknown and discovered the Americas. William Shakespeare revolutionized Theatre and Literature. Abraham Lincoln became the most influential American President and helped to bring about the abolishment of slavery. Albert Einstein revolutionized physics with his theory of relativity. Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest minds in human history, was responsible for major changes in anatomy, astronomy, physics, science and other fields. Pablo Picasso revolutionized Art. The Beatles revolutionized Music. Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent revolutionized Fashion. Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence through a non-violent civil disobedience. Mikhail Gorbachev enabled the Berlin wall to fall giving freedom to Eastern Europe. Martin Luther King fought for civil rights and against racism and was assassinated. Nelson Mandela freed South Africa from apartheid and became president of the country after 27 years in prison. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs revolutionized computers, technology, and communication. And many other enlightened human beings have changed the rules and the world.
How do you start a revolution?
The catalyst for revolution is usually one or more specific events in which a failure in society, a system, a product or a service has been discovered and need to be reformed. In some cases, civil rights have been violated or power has been taken away. These specific events can be painful and trigger feelings of anger, injustice, abuse or disappointed. The desire for a change is born. Soon after you discover that you are not alone, there are many others that are experiencing the same thing. At this point, you have two choices: you can either put yourself in the victim role, passively endure the consequences of the events and blame the universe for them or, you can choose to embody the change and be the leader who takes action to create a better reality for everyone.
A leader is someone that enlightens people out of their darkness, therefore your motivation, your energy, your passion and your faith must prevail. You must be able to attract, charm and influence people. As a leader, you are the embodiment and the voice of all the ones who share your pain, your vision, and your mission but that are not bold and courageous enough to create a reform. You are the captain of their ship and they believe in you to take them to the new world.
A powerful message is the next element to start your revolution. It must primal and relatable, It must inspire and give hope, it must trigger the desire to act on it but most importantly it must be authentic and truthful. You live and drive your message by example so you must come from a place of integrity and coherence. There are many ways you can start to convey your message: a blog, a book, a video, a speech, a film, a group, a product or a service. Whatever you choose, it has to become the Manifesto of your movement.
Once you have your mission and your message, you need activists, in other words, people who are going to join and grow your movement. Down the road, some of them will become part of your team and family and they’ll support you along the way. Creating a following takes commitment and work and we are lucky to live in an era in which communication happens faster than ever before thanks to the internet and the new media. Learn how to use them wisely to spread out your message and reach the masses. Address your message to channels that have your target audience. Let yourself be seen and heard.
You must do something every day for your revolution. Action and perseverance are key to refine your voice and grow your influence. Proceed one step at the time, always aim higher and raise the stakes. Engage and nurture your audience. Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. They take their people from where they are to where they want to be. They inspire and enrich the lives of others with their work. They enlighten others so that they are finally able to see.
When you Are your revolution and you Live it with all your being and your soul, it eventually manifests. The reward won’t be in the result in itself but in the journey you have traveled. All the obstacles are just part of the game. I love this quote that expresses this feeling so well:
“Once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
– HARUKI MURAKAMI –
Some of you will read this, feel overwhelmed and think “that’s a lot of work and pain to handle”. The answer is YES. That’s why only a few human beings are great leaders and succeed. The others are only followers. History belongs to those who have been willing to embrace Chaos and create greatness out of them. Whether you are out there to be the leader of a small community, of a nation or to change an entire industry, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you contribute to creating a better world. You can’t start a revolution unless you dare to be different. You can’t win a revolution if you don’t take action.
My work in Fashion and Entertainment gave me the chance to see what happens behind the scenes of two powerful industries and recognize both the great potential and the limits they have. Films are a great medium to tell a story and vehicle a message. Fashion’s primary goal is to make people feel beautiful and confident. The other side of the coin is that they both can also be misused and manipulated and when that happens, they can distort reality and disempower people instead of creating a better reality. My personal revolution consists in leveraging these two extremely powerful communicators and tell stories to inspire people.
My dream is to talk about the beauty of being human, in all of our imperfections and diversity. My dream is to see a world in which we are free to express who we are and not afraid to share our story. This blog is part of my revolution. My work is my revolution. Believe me, none of this is an easy task. I have learned that I need to collect my losses before I can be a winner. I’ve embraced sweat, rejection, failures, and tears but every time a person comes to me and says: “Thank You. You inspired me.” the feeling I get is priceless and I know every step of the journey is worth it.
What is the greatest gift you can give to this world? I challenge you to be different. I challenge you to be a rebel and break the rules. I challenge you to show up in the world and give yourself unconditionally.
Go out there and start your revolution!
‘Til the next one!