To Be (or Not)

“How many emperors and how many princes have lived and died and no record of them remains, and they only sought to gain dominions and riches in order that their fame might be ever-lasting.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Ask any kid today what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll likely get a similar answer:

Youtube Famous.

Forget astronauts. Forget presidents. Forget rock stars. Internet Famous. 

Heck, ask anyone fifty and under who’s even slightly internet savvy and they’d likely trade their job to be Youtube famous. I think it’s likely because being Youtube, Instagram, TikTok or whatever famous looks like you make money while playing all day, doing what you love and hanging out with fun people. I haven’t tried Youtube (yet) but I think it deceptively much harder to do than it looks. There’s an art and skill to everything. Just because it looks easy doesn’t mean it didn’t take a massive amount of time and effort to make it happen.

But why does everyone want to be famous?

I think 99% of us don’t want to be famous (even if we say we do). I think what we really want is to be known and to feel known. (Plus the perks that usually — but not always — that come with fame: money, access, resources, etc)

We all want a place to belong.

We want our voice to matter.

We want our work and life to be meaningful.

But we don’t need fame to have those things. In fact, fame might be detrimental to belonging. (Besides, pursuing fame never gives you fame, fame is a by-product of the love and cares you put into your craft and relationships.)

Connection, helping others, loving ourselves, standing up for our values and principles, cultivating our skills, going all-in on community… this is where meaning and belong flow.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #843

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