By Casey Grey
"I want to be famous."
That's something that came up in a conversation with a friend last night. He's confused as to what he "should" be doing right now so he's jumping all over the place.
As I dug into what he wanted, he eventually blurted out "I want to be famous!"
I thanked him for being honest and continued to ask questions.
"What does it mean to be famous?"
He replied with "To be known by the world. To go places and be recognized by people who I don't know."
As we were talking, I quickly looked up some numbers. Because I needed some sort of metric, I went to Instagram.
I asked him if Tony Robbins is famous in his mind. He said yes.
Tony Robbins has 4.5 million followers on Instagram. This is less than 0.06% of the world population. He's definitely not known by the world.
"What about Oprah?" he said.
Oprah has just over 0.2% of the population following her.
Then he brought up Beethoven to which I quickly replied that he had no followers on Instagram :)
The reason he brought up Beethoven is because he's remembered long after his passing.
The question becomes, how do you measure famous? How would you know you were famous? Did Beethoven set out to be famous or did he just do what he was pulled towards?
Another person I did not bring up yesterday was Picasso. It is estimated that he produced 50,000 pieces of art over his lifetime. That's more than 1 per day and he lived into his 90s! I have a feeling he was not focusing on being famous.
All of these people are changing industries. Pushing the boundaries. They're focused and they won't let anything get in their way. We only see the glamour but it's far from that.
Now I have to go back. Before we got on the topic of famous, he shared some other things that he wanted:
These are not things that only he wants. These are universal. Heck, I want all of those things too! And being famous may not be bad either. But at what cost?
Do you really want to be famous or do you just like the idea of being famous?
In life, it's easy to see the big shiny objects and forget about what's truly important. Anybody can be significant, independent, recognized, connected and give unconditionally. You don't need to be famous to have these things.
In fact, when you're famous, who are you significant to? Are you significant to the people who matter most to you?
When you're famous, are you more independent or do you have multiple people telling you what needs to be done and where to be? Are you able to enjoy a nice evening out with your partner without being harassed?
You're most definitely recognized by more people when you're famous but do you stand out to those who you care about the most?
You can give more money when you're famous but you won't be able to give as much of the most precious commodity you have. Your time.
You will be more connected to more people when you're famous. You will have millions of followers. But how connected will you be to your loved ones?
Is it possible to have all of the above? I like to think so.
But like everything in life worth having, it does not happen over night and it does not come easy.
Be careful what you wish for. What you think you want may not be what you really want.