Three secrets to life, twelve IUCN Red List Birds and one palm tree.
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El Mar Menor, España

Archetypes' Got Talent

February 12, 2022, La Manga del Mar Menor, Spain

On Marginal Talent

One of my heroes, Maria Popova, is the fifteen-year veteran e-mail newsletter publisher of The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings). I subscribe to her midweek pick-me-up because the alternative is her Sunday Digest and by then my eyes can't digest one more pixel — as beautiful as hers are.

On Maximum Digestion

More and more of you open and read inwords each month. I'm grateful for that but I sometimes wonder if the sheer volume of material is daunting for those who don't so I thought I'd try something different this month:

1.The foreword that usually fills this space and the theme of this month's production, Archetypes' Got Talent is one click away, online this month. If you have a second, let me know whether you think this new way of digesting inwords is better or worse. You can do that by hitting reply or my email address at the bottom of this foreword.

2.I got hung up with the copywriting I do at The Graphic Language Company that currently pays for How to Brand You (alongside your coffees), so rather than do a shitty job of the conscious brands that I've featured for the past five months, I opted to focus on the archetype-themed observations and introduce you to the Archetype Aviary that will soon be a much bigger part of the flap around here.

Thanks and Welcomes

Thanks to John, Nancy, Ric, Lorraine, Nina, Greg, Isabel, Liat, Michael, Benjamin, Jamie and Paulina ❤️, Gerard, Carlo, Barry and CK for subscribing.

And thanks to you for reading and for the coffee.
Next month: Alternatives


Featuring Talented Observations from

James Thurber ❡
George Lois ❡
John Audubon ❡
Gore Vidal ❡
Sir Thomas Malory ❡
Alex Tzelnic ❡
❡ Zora Neale Hurston
❡ Henry van Dyke
❡ Cormac McCarthy
❡ Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani
❡ Thích Nhất Hạnh
❡ Richard Adams

How to Find Your Archetype

If you've taken the Brand Voice Quiz but can't remember your archetype, fear not!
Just start typing howtobrandyou in your browser's address bar until it suggests something that looks like: /report/your-brand-name
If that doesn't work, just reply to this email and I'll have a look for you.
Archetype Journey Icon 1 - The Innocent
The Innocent Archetype is proactively honest, transparent and wonder-ful.

Read the Innocent Archetype Brand Voice Brief

— under a mackerel sky

"All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why."
James Thurber, from one of the epigraphs in Under A Mackerel Sky by Rick Stein

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

SDG 3's aim is to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages" and its 13 targets are designed to do so; from Reducing Maternal Mortality to Fighting Communicable Diseases and Achieving Universal Healthcare.
They are huge goals — here are some ways you can be part of them.
Archetype Journey Icon 2 - The Everyperson
The Everyperson Archetype is inclusive, individual and the salt of the earth.
They can often be spotted wearing their striped socks inside out.

Read The Everyperson Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Andean Flamingo, Bolivia, Everyperson Archetype

— on barn building

"The only thing where you need a big group of people to do something is when you’re building an Amish barn."
George Lois

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

The goals of SDG 2 are to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. This Global Goal aims at eight targets to end world hunger; from ending malnutrition to maintaining the genetic diversity in foods. The "Things To Do" on this SDG's page basically boil down to "eat more vegetables" but you're smarter than that aren't you? Get yourself some hummus and Sherlock this page for inspiration.
Archetype Journey Icon 3 - The Hero
The Hero Archetype is as humble and vulnerable as it is valiant.

Read The Hero Archetype Brand Voice Brief

— on losing nothing

"I am persuaded that alone in the woods, or at my work, I can make better use of the whole of myself than in any other situation, and that thereby I have lost nothing in exchanging the pleasure of studying men for that of admiring the feathered race."
John J. Audubon, an epigraph in Birds of America

SDG 1: No Poverty

I matched SDG 1, No Poverty, with The Hero archetype because it seems to me that heroic is the level of effort it's going to take to achieve its targets. It's an overwhelming goal but we are making progress. The "Decade of Impact" Report talks about that.
Archetype Journey Icon 4 - The Caregiver
As gutsy as The Hero Archetype, The Caregiver Archetype embraces compassion and empathy. The risk for this archetype is facing hopelessness with indifference.

Read The Caregiver Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Tibetan Bunting, Tibet, Caregiver Archetype

— the reason I don't call you

​"I sometimes think it is because they are so bad at expressing themselves verbally that writers take to pen and paper in the first place."
Gore Vidal

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Thankfully the authors of SDG 5, Gender Equality, went beyond the token = symbol in its icon and tasked this goal with empowering all women and girls. On Monday, November 8 announced the winners of its Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. Here are the targets for SDG 5.
Archetype Journey Icon 5 - The Explorer
Explorer Archetype thinking is synonymous with bucking mainstream mores and myopic thinking — like an albatross and not all that unlike the Outlaw Archetype.

Read The Explorer Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Sooty Albatross, Antarctica, Explorer Archetype

— to horse

"THEN Sir Beaumains put on his helm anon, and buckled his shield, and took his horse, and rode after him all that ever he might ride through marshes, and fields, and great dales, that many times his horse and he plunged over the head in deep mires, for he knew not the way, but took the gainest way in that woodness, that many times he was like to perish. And at the last him happened to come to a fair green way [...]"
Thomas Malory, from Le Morte d'Arthur at Project Gutenberg

Goal 15: Life On Land

The targets for SDG 15 aren't specifically about people, which I think is a nice change because, as a species we have been such selfish, destructive asses.
Ultimately the SDGs are all about us righting as many wrongs as we can before 2030 so that we survive, but it is a breath of fresh air to read about us caring for this planet and the poor creatures that are stuck on it with us, which is what you'll find at the links below.

Here are SDG 15's targets and the UN's suggestions for supporting it.
Archetype Journey Icon 6 - The Outlaw
Although The Outlaw Archetype is challenging, confronting and sometimes disruptive, it's inherently honourable.

Read The Outlaw Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Long-tailed Duck, Norway, Outlaw Archetype

— (meta)physical education

​"Chaos is distressing and the tendency is to bring about order as fast as possible, by whatever means necessary. The trick, of course, is to be at ease with unease."
Alex Tzelnic, at Tricycle Magazine

Goal 13: Climate Action

The map element in the icon for SDG 13, Climate Action, actually looks like another planet, which would be great because that would mean we could just carry on buying shit and throwing it away for at least another generation.
Unfortunately, if you look at it in motion on its official SDG page, you'll see it's just a view of earth taken from above Santa's workshop by a drone that the elves obviously didn't make on a Wednesday.
And if enough of us do something to save Santa and his elves...
Archetype Journey Icon 7 - The Lover
The Lover Archetype seeks union, is comfortable in surrender, is dedicated and powered by passion and tenderness.

Read The Lover Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Western Crowned Pigeon, Papua New Guinea, Lover Archetype

— and love songs

​"Love, I find is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much."
Zora Neale Hurston

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

The principle of SDG 10 is that "when every individual is self sufficient, the entire world prospers." This Global Goal has 10 targets that are "big picture" macro-level benchmarks. Even the action items take effort and guts and humility and passion: like the Lover Archetype. What? You thought it was all about hugs and kisses?
Archetype Journey Icon 8 - The Creator
The Creator Archetype is imaginative, artistic and visionary.

It loathes inactivity, occasionally to the point of workaholism.

Read The Creator Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Mallefowl, Australia, Creator Archetype

— on birdsong

​"Use what talents you possess — the woods will be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."
Henry van Dyke

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Of all the SDGs, this one struck me as being uber-technical but when I listened to Greenlight Planet's Radhika Thakkar speak to James from the SDG Talks Podcast on October 8, 2021 about off-grid communities, individuals walking miles to charge their mobile phones, kids not having lights to study by — I got it.
GreenLight Planet's sun king website
The SDG 7 web page
Archetype Journey Icon 9 - The Ruler
The Ruler Archetype is challenged to temper ego with understanding, and to distinguish majesty from bravado.

Read The Ruler Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Snowy Owl, Canada, Ruler Archetype

— on standing

​"Lightning stood in ragged chains far to the south, silent, the staccato mountains bespoken blue and barren out of the void."
Cormac McCarthy, in Blood Meridian

You might find it worthwhile reading that Ruler Archetype observation by Cormac McCarthy more slowly than you did. —Ed.

Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Whenever I read about SDG 16's mission to, "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels," I get a little overwhelmed.
We have been asleep at this planet's wheel for a long while.

The idea that I can connect these 17 goals and their 169 targets to this archetype and branding experiment gives it more meaning; and the idea of sharing them with you gets me out of bed in the morning — well that, the smell of coffee and needing to pee.
Archetype Journey Icon 10 - The Magician
A Magician brand must strive to weave delight between the lines of its visionary and intuitive story. Its tendency toward arrogance — expectations of colleagues and customers to read its mind — risks distancing its worth from its audience.

Read The Magician Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Green Peafowl, Thailand, Magician Archetype

— on seeing

​"We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are."
Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

If SDG 11 was simply Sustainable Communities, the cities that are the confluences of those communities would magically look after themselves. We have to think small, local, community to achieve the larger, global goals.
Read the targets for SDG 11
Archetype Journey Icon 11 - The Sage
The Sage is forever seeking balance; it struggles with idealism and its inability to compromise. "Listen more attentively" is sage advice for this archetype.

Read The Sage Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Three-wattled Bellbird, Costa Rica, Sage Archetype

— what we are made of

"For example, my father has passed away, but he has not disappeared. He is still available. In every cell of our bodies we have our parents and ancestors, and we can talk with them, here and now. I do that all the time. I feel that my father is always alive with me. I invite him to walk with me and breathe with me. And what he could not do in his lifetime I try to do for him. We inter-are."
— from Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet, by Thích Nhất Hạnh (Thầy) October 11, 1926 — January 22, 2022

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production

I didn't align SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, with The Sage archetype because the colours of their icons are similar (just getting ahead of the few smart-assed subscribers who would have pointed that out — you know who you are). I chose the pairing because responsible production requires tough choices and forward-thinking leadership; two qualities that our dumb-assed decisions have been lacking.
Here is SDG 12 in detail.
Archetype Journey Icon 12 - The Jester
The Jester Archetype lives for the experience; it is naturally compelling, entertaining and delightful, and is challenged by the tripartite trap of self-importance, disingenuity and indifference.

Read The Jester Archetype Brand Voice Brief
Black Crowned Crane, Tanzania, Jester Archetype

— on necessity

​"We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant. The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament. We need daylight and to that extent it is utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night. In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse's mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows."
Richard Adams, Watership Down

Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation

SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation is a tough Global Goal to write about but I refuse to give in to the thinking that my generation and the last few before it have screwed this completely for my six grandkids.
Our World in Data illustrates the situation beautifully.
Charity Water illustrates working toward this Global Goal beautifully.
Here's the juice on SDG 6 from the Global Goals website.
Like 37,400 other species, Konos, our Pelican-in-Chief (a Dalmatian Pelican from Lake Prespa in Greece), and Jerry, our Chief Algorithm Officer (a Jerdon's Courser from Andhra Pradesh, India) are threatened with extinction and therefore difficult or impossible to find.

That's not the case with our 🍊 unsubscribe button, because unlike Konos and Jerry it's not the end of the world.

Read more about beautiful creatures like Konos and Jerry on the IUCN's Red List.