Can Your Name Change Your Life?

Ap­par­ently, yes! It turns out, your name could help de­ter­mine the per­son you be­come even­tu­ally. Here’s the low­down on the name chang­ing game...

Cosmopolitan (India) - - YOU, YOU, YOU - By Me­her Bajwa

Google Inc.’s Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man Eric Sch­midt once pre­dicted that in the fu­ture, peo­ple around the world will change their names to es­cape the em­bar­rass­ing things they did on­line in the past. While we’re not so sure that’s the only rea­son, but over the years, a num­ber of celebri­ties have changed their given names in search of star­dom and success. Could you ever imag­ine a Norma Jean Baker as a leg­endary Hol­ly­wood siren who even­tu­ally turned into a sex sym­bol in the 1950s? Us nei­ther. Maybe that’s why Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe de­cided to change her birth name when she started her ca­reer on stage. And you can’t really fault us for think­ing the ‘Lizzie Grant Bag’ wouldn’t have caught Mul­berry’s fancy as much as the ‘Lana Del Rey Bag’. The singer found mega success once she changed her name from Lizze Grant to her more vin­tage pseu­do­nym. Psy­chol­o­gist Emma Kenny tells Cosmo Aus­tralia, “80 per­cent of our success comes from the way we are per­ceived by the peo­ple around us—and your name plays a ma­jor role.” Names are more im­por­tant now than ever be­fore, with peo­ple like blog­gers cre­at­ing brands for them­selves and, cut-throat com­pe­ti­tion in the job mar­ket. There’s a shift to­wards more unique names, and un­usual spellings that could bet­ter re­flect per­son­al­ity, cre­ativ­ity, and ideals. Could it be time for a re-brand?

The Celeb Fac­tor

The in­for­ma­tion car­ried by names, what ex­perts are call­ing ‘name en­tropy’, has in­creased as much in the past 25 years as it did in the en­tire cen­tury be­fore that. Names are of­ten linked to stereo­types, for ex­am­ple, job re­cruiters at a com­pany will un­con­sciously pre­fer a ‘Ka­reena’ or a ‘Deepika’. This un­for­tu­nately makes life tough for the Rakhis and the Yanas, whose names are as­so­ci­ated with fallen celebri­ties. Then there’s the bunch of new gen­er­a­tion stars who seem to have success writ­ten in their names from the be­gin­ning, like Mi­ley Cyrus, whose first name is Des­tiny, and Emily Sande, whose first name is Adele.

Build­ing Your Brand

Stud­ies have found that names that roll off the tongue like Leona Lewis or Cheryl Cole tend to have more pos­i­tive sen­ti­ments as­so­ci­ated with them. It’s no won­der Ka­t­rina Turquotte changed her name to Ka­t­rina Kaif be­fore step­ping into Bol­ly­wood. A lot of peo­ple are also us­ing their mid­dle names as their first names— like the Fan­ning sis­ters, Dakota’s first name is Han­nah and Elle’s is Mary. They just don’t sound as glam­orous, do they? When Gwyneth Pal­trow and Chris Martin named their daugh­ter Ap­ple Martin, we weren’t the only ones won­der­ing what they were think­ing(?!). But to­day, eight-year-old Ap­ple Martin is a brand linked to two mega suc­cess­ful par­ents. Then there’s the case of the mono-named ladies (we’re talk­ing to you Bey­oncé and Ri­hanna), which makes you be­lieve when you’re suc­cess­ful enough, you can get by with just one name!

Un­usual Works!

Alexa Chung’s and su­per­model Ag­y­ness Deyn’s (who’s real name is Laura Hollins) success proves that unique names are the or­der of the day. Such names spark in­ter­est in the per­son’s per­son­al­ity, and also help build an­tic­i­pa­tion about meet­ing them. Les­son learned: the more ex­clu­sive your name is, the more pos­i­tive re­ac­tions you can ex­pect.

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