How Fame Has Ruined the Game of Growth

“Depth of soul can never be measured by the eyes.”

– Author Unknown

Is the depth of soul important as you seek to grow a life and career?  Does fame poison the journey?  Yes, on both fronts.

Depth of soul is non-negotiable, unless you prefer to hang with the shallow crowd.  Besides, who wakes up in the morning looking forward to a day of engaging with the shallow.  Fame can be poisonous if not handled well, and keep in-mind that fame is relative.  If you work in a 3 story building, fame is attainable amongst the group.

In the media (new and old) age we live in we’ve been seduced into believing that fame is something to grasp.  Even those who won’t admit it long for the attention.  Maybe it’s the feeling of false validation that comes when people know “who you are.”  Which, by the way, is such a contradictory idea.

We forget that fame is a cost of doing business and not a barometer of how good we are in the game we play.  Not to mention the trade that occurs in the pursuit.  You can’t have it all.

Here some ways fame has ruined the game of growth:

  • In the old media days you needed to know what you were good at.  Fame in the new media world says; “everyone’s invited”
  • We bought the lie that the famous are as wonderful as an airbrush can create.  We connect without knowing anything about personhood
  • Fame made us long for comfort, which is a mortal blow to a life of growth
  • We didn’t learn from the teacher named rejection
  • Fame convinced us to seek validation from the applause
  • Fame, like money, caused us to become slaves, not masters

The Price of Fame

The price of fame could be summed up in the following statement:

Everybody loves you when your famous…not really. It's just that many flock to whatever is the "new. This too shall pass."

In many parts of the world, being or getting famous is not difficult to do. If you strike certain notes you may even take off like a rocket. You can thank social media for this.

The reality is fame is a cost of doing what you do. It should never be a pursuit. If it is a pursuit then more than likely you're looking for something or some people to fill you up. The end of this road is often addiction.

In some of the roles I've played, I garnered much applause. The inevitable end always led to an empty auditoruim. It really felt quite embarassing. Think of unrequited love here. Thankfully, I found solid ground getting over it. I've learned the importance of just creating the best work you can.

Everything else is mostly distraction.

Aspiring To What’s Not Really There

Very easy these days to want success, fame and fortune.  I mean who wouldn't want that?  When the economy is not performing like we want or we're knocking on the door of landing a prized client, it kind of justifies our pursuit.  An understandable discontent to be sure.

But it's an illusion.  Think of it like a golden carrot that's always one step out of our reach.  And just like a drug, we keep coming back for more.  We always find an excuse for what we know deep down is true. 

In my experience what we aspire to should be Real and within our reach.  That implies that we can aspire to the wrong things.  And the wrong things create a question of trustworthiness.

Can you be trusted with the vision given to you?  Can you be trusted with the aspiration that comes along with?

The following are some tough questions to ask as you consider:

  1. Are you involved in things bigger than yourself?
  2. Can you be content even when nothing seems to break your way?
  3. Do you have a desire to find your limits?
  4. If you died today, what and how big would the void be?
  5. Do you have to "take" in-order to win?
  6. What charms you?
  7. Is there anyone besides God who knows all of your secrets?
  8. If you have attained some level of success, fame and fortune, could you walk away from it?
  9. If everyone you knew, and loved, recommended you give up, could you continue the journey anyway?
  10. Have you rejected comfort?