CANNES — For many people, the quest to find and codify a life purpose can be overwhelming, enveloping.

Krystle Watler was one of those people.

But, in this video interview with Tameka Kee for Beet.TV, Watler, Head of Creative Agency Partnerships, NA, TikTok, explains how she changed her life – and how she encourages young creatives to craft theirs.

Mind-blown moment

Watler explains her earlier search for meaning, at a time when the “find your passion”, “do your purpose” advice was getting louder.

“It led to suffering in the greater part of my twenties,” she says. “I didn’t know what mine was. And I thought there was something wrong with me.”

But it clicked when she read A New Earth, a book by Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher and self-help author championed by Oprah Winfrey.

The book followed his well-received The Power Of Now, which reminded readers that their “inner purpose” is about bringing quality consciousness to a present tense that is perpetual.

A New Earth advocates being over doing; shows how the “voice in the head” leads to over-thinking, suffering and the creation of ego; and describes how buried trauma, whether in individuals or in whole cultures, often manifests in negative behaviour.

“That book completely changed my life,” Watler says.

“It just gave me a lot of language to help me understand this kind of in-betweenism that I was in… I resolved to not get caught up on what my purpose was, because it was strangling me.”

Advice to next generation

Before TikTok, Watler was MD or Virtue Americas, an ad agency owned by Vice Media Group.

On her appointment, she wrote an open letter, Come Through, beckoning Black, Indigenous and people of color to enter the advertising industry.

But Watler is urging the next generation not to focus exclusively on in-the-moment career goals, conveying two pieces of advice

  1. “Focus on your craft. Don’t get caught up. It is about the journey. It is about the people that we work with, the relationships that we build while attempting to create something.”
  2. “Invest in your life. Work is yet just one aspect of our lives. When I have the privilege of working with younger people, I want to ensure that they are investing in their personal life, like anything from dating to, you know, investing in hobbies, travelling, being with your family.”

Being present

Watler has gone from being an uncertain young professional who would “show up in the world a little bit more tense, a little bit less present”, to someone more at ease with navigating the creative industries.

The direction may change, but the compass is always there.

“I still don’t know what my purpose is,” Watler says. “But I know, for sure, that I want to show up, no matter where I am and who I’m with, fully and to be excellent in whatever that means.”

You are watching ‘The Mediaocean Retreat’, a Beet.TV Leadership Summit at Cannes Lions 2022.

For more videos from this series, please visit this page.

Beet.TV is an official partner of Cannes Lions.