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Shift the Script – How a TEDx Talk Helped Spark a Much-Needed Conversation Around the Definition of Success

Shift the Script – How a TEDx Talk Helped Spark a Much-Needed Conversation Around the Definition of Success
Image credit: Courtesy of shiftthescript.com

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As we approach the middle of the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly evident that the narrative around what constitutes a ‘successful’ life, is changing. Even as recent as a quarter of a century ago, the story was consistent: go to school, get good grades, get into a good college, get a good job, get married, start a family, earn enough to retire well and then… you will be happy. This was the path you were expected to follow, the world over, to have a ‘good’ life.

With the overload of information and velocity of change permeating all aspects of the world around us, and influencing our day-to-day lives, it was only a matter of time before people began to realize that this ‘one-size-fits-all’ life plan was flawed. Blake Mallen was one of them.

Blake Mallen: Finding Success the Unconventional Way

Blake Mallen is what you would call an unconventional success story. In his own words, he is a ‘Millennial Lifestyle Entrepreneur’. He has created billion-dollar brands and has over two decades of experience in diversified business, marketing and entrepreneurship, which he garnered while overcoming the many challenges that often come with paving your own way. His personal mantra – to ‘Live, Create and Inspire’ – is an ongoing attempt to push people into thinking more of and doing more with, their lives. However, this is not how Mallen’s story started. It began on the traditional path, as the quintessential A-level student, bound for law school and who dreamt of making it big in the corporate world. The question is: How does one go from gunning for straight-As and a law career, to pounding pavements trying to make an entrepreneurial enterprise work?

The Paradigm Shift

Poised at the threshold of what was to be a textbook ‘good’ life, Mallen recalls the exact moment he felt that this narrative was not for him. Summer of his Sophomore year in College, Mallen was working as an intern at a District Attorney’s office. One day, while filing giant manila folders and feeling absolutely miserable, he remembers reassuring himself with the thought that this was ‘the price he had to pay’ – that this was what he was ‘supposed to do’ to get the job he was working so hard in school for. Then, he remembers looking around at the people in the office, the people with the jobs he wanted to have, and they appeared to be just as miserable. While in the midst of this confusing period in his life, a friend asked him, “Blake, WHY are you doing all of this?!” and the only way he could answer it truthfully was, “Isn’t this what I’m supposed to do?” All of this led him to the realisation that all his life, he had been following a ‘script’ that wasn’t even his own and would never lead to the life he wanted.

Perseverance Always Pays

Today, Mallen is the Co-Founder & President of two global lifestyle brands with platforms that power health transformations (Vi) and inspire people to turn their ‘Bucket List’ into a ‘Liv List’ (Liv). On a TEDx Talk earlier this year, Mallen spoke about people and their growing resentment towards the lifestyles they are living. He shared how “we need to stop trying to be the person we’ve been told we’re ‘supposed to’ be, to become the person we’re ‘meant to’ be, and that it’s time to #ShiftTheScript.” The Script is what Mallen describes as the pre-determined prescription given by society with the unspoken promise that if followed will lead to a safe and predictable life. Mallen argues that, while it may have worked well in the past, The Script that is still getting shared today is horribly outdated and has become counter-productive. Mallen argues that to expect different individuals, each with their own set of unique skills and talents, to follow a similar life-path towards success, just doesn’t make sense, especially at a time when experts estimate that 85 percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven't even been invented yet.

Considering himself an atypical millennial influencer, Mallen’s age of 37 puts him in the “Micro-Generation” as the connecting link between today’s Millennials and Gen X/Boomers. He speaks about how as the ‘gray hair’ of the Millennials, he has a desire to help bridge the gap between older and younger generations and provide principles and perspectives that empower each to pursue their potential. Mallen signs off on his wildly successful TEDx Talk with the message that “if enough of us as individuals shift our scripts… then it’s only a matter of time until we shift THE Script. And that shift is long overdue.”

Watch the entire talk here http://shiftthescript.com & connect with Blake on Instagram @blakemallen.

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