TIME magazine's December-January 2007 was entitled "The Person of the Year: YOU." No, the magazine was not making fun of our selfishness or our thirst to be recognized by others. The magazine devoted several pages to explain what not many know of its existence, but it is a reality: we are all one brand. We are a brand from the first day we were born - when our parents gave us a name in which we had no opinion - and which we carry for the rest of our lives.
Just as we choose to buy BMW, instead of Mercedes Benz, or prefer Pantene conditioner instead of Garnier's, each of us also has a list of characteristics that define how others perceive us. Even though we realize this, our actions, how we express ourselves, how we dress up, or even choice when ordering dinner have a powerful visual and cognitive factor in the image that others form of us. This may sound superficial - as I also believe that we are a much more complex than meets the eye.
What about the feelings, our intellect and our values? Consider this: From all the people that you somehow interact in a daily basis - how many do REALLY know the "real you" or just how many do you LET them in to REALLY know YOU? The reality is that we don't open ourselves to everyone we meet or even talk in a consistent bases - nor others expect it either. I believe everyone agrees that we can count the fingers of one hand the people who really know our true self.