Have you ever wanted to be famous? Have you thought about entering “The X Factor”? Or could it have been when you were younger – perhaps dreamed of the money you would make when you became the next big thing?
Well, if it wasn’t you, it was probably someone you knew. Some people shy away from the attention of others, but many would like to be recognised for being talented or for having a particular ability that others would love to possess.
Why don’t you become famous?
I was leading a group of teenagers on a residential a few months ago, and that I have written a song I am quite proud of came up as part of the discussion. One of the kids asked why I didn’t become a songwriter and become rich and famous?
I had a few answers for him:
- I’m not sure I’m good enough;
- It’s not quite as easy as that; and
- Would it really make me happy?
Yes, part of me goes back to when three of us got the top grade for Music GCSE, and two of them received the acclaimed school music prize. And yes, it still grates occasionally, 20-something years on. Would I like my music teacher to see I was a success? Or is it something about my own sense of self-worth?
The famous person
On our holiday this summer, we chose to stay next door to the same family as the previous year. They went out for meal with another couple at the beginning of the week, and a few days later they asked us if we’d realised who that couple was. It turns out that we had briefly spoken to someone who really was rich and famous, and had been in hit bands for over 30 years. We had grown up singing along to his songs.
What struck me was what we were told by our friends: this man had international fame and the couple has a substantial fortune but, in their words, “they are no happier than we are”.
They are no happier than we are
Really? And this family have had their tough times. They are a solid unit, and show love and respect for each other, but there have been serious challenges along the way. What could have made the pill even more bitter to swallow was that had our friend been sober when their band auditioned, he too could have been as rich and famous as his friend.
Perhaps he was bitter at the time – I don’t know. All I know is that both men have followed different paths and that the public success of one has not diminished the happiness of the other.
Looking back at why people may want fame, I think that most of us like to have recognition when we have achieved something. It may be something as seemingly insignificant as getting showered and dressed when you have a new baby, or for having your name put to a piece of academic work. It could even be at keeping harmony in your workplace or family so that people can coexist without argument.
Reflecting that fame and fortune have not bought additional happiness for the couple I met has filled me with questions. I cannot tackle them all in this post, but I can think about how I can recognise the achievements I make, and those in other people.
Giving someone a “well done” – a verbal pat on the back – can make a big difference, if it is done with sincerity and genuine warmth. I am always pleased when my husband realises what a mammoth effort it has been to get everyone home from school still alive and to have tea on the table when he gets in. It makes a big difference to my day.
So, I’ll leave you with this: fame and fortune are out of the window for most of us, whether they bring happiness or not. We all have our talents and abilities, and being recognised and appreciated for these can increase our sense of self-worth. How could we do this for ourselves and for others?
For more posts like this, follow Secrets of Heaven on Facebook
Images are by Andrei Baicus, from mystock photos