BY SOFO ARCHON
ver the last few decades more and more people desire to become famous. In earlier times, only a handful of people could become famous and those were usually considered to be the elite of society. Nowadays, with the existence of the mass media, and especially with the popularization of the internet, it has become easier for people to become famous and there are many who are striving to achieve fame during their lifetime.
Such people feel that in order to be happy and fulfilled, they first need to become famous. They are obsessed with the celebrities they watch on television who are looking shiny and smiling, and, believing that those people are special and important, all they want is to be just like them. As they are, they feel empty and unsatisfied with life.
In modern times, where people have become alienated from community, they feel unable to form intimate relationships with their fellow human beings, and hence they can’t genuinely communicate and connect with one another. Humans, as every psychologist knows, are deeply social beings with an inherent need to connect and bond with others, and most importantly to feel that they are being listened to, taken care of, and loved by others. When, however, these psychological needs are not met at a young age by their family and wider environment, then for their entire lives they will be seeking for the attention of people, which is merely a substitute for what in their eyes is perceived as love and affection.
These people feel sad, lonely, unworthy, insecure, and they try to escape from their unfortunate condition by seeking fame and trying to live in a similar way to that of their favorite TV personas and internet celebrities. Instead of trying to form genuine friendships with people close to them, they try to create an artificial image of themselves and spread as far and wide as they can, in order to attract the attention of others. If they don’t manage to achieve that, they feel like a complete failure and to them life ceases to have meaning and purpose. What they don’t know, however, is that even if they were to achieve fame, this would not make their life in any way better. In fact, it is most likely that it would make things worse, and that’s for plenty of reasons.
If you’re seeking fame, you might succeed in attracting people’s attention but what you deep down need is love, and attention does not necessarily mean loving attention. Even an enemy can pay attention to you, but does this mean that he loves or cares for you? Of course not. If you are hungry for fame, then what you truly long for is the sincere loving attention of another human being–and fame cannot provide that, hence it will always let you down.
Another reason why fame negatively affects most of those who manage to acquire it is that they are not in a emotional condition that allows them to bear the psychological burden that comes with fame. Usually, they suddenly find out that their whole life is being taken away from their hands. They feel compelled to do everything they can to satisfy others, as if they are merely puppets, wearing a mask that is likable by others but doesn’t reflect their inner world. Naturally, deep down they feel sad and empty, because when you do things that you don’t like, how can you be happy and fulfilled? How can you celebrate life if you are not living the way you want but you’re living according to how others would like you to live?
Moreover, even when you achieve fame and somehow manage to make the majority of people who know you get to like you, there are still going to be people who will criticize you, talk in a negative way about you, be against you, dislike you or even hate you. Criticism is unavoidable when you’re under the spotlight, but when what you truly long for is to be loved and accepted, it can be soul-crashing. Those who are searching for fame are very vulnerable and sensitive, and since they don’t deep down accept themselves the way they are, they are trying to derive joy from the positive opinions of others about them. Others function as mirrors, providing a reflection of themselves, and since they don’t feel well with who they are, and value themselves based on the opinions of others, they end up dissatisfied, because the criticism they receive is deeply affecting them, creating psychological traumas that will not be easy for them to get rid of.
Fame is neither bad nor good in itself–what is bad or good is how you’re using it and for what purpose. Do you feel the need to become famous in order to fill in your inner emptiness? If that is so, then fame is not going to provide you with what you are seeking for–namely, inner fulfillment. It can offer you only a substitute, and a substitute will never truly satisfy you. It might help you on a superficial level, without affecting the core of your being.
If you happen to be famous because you have achieved or created something of importance and the world has embraced you because of that, and you want to use your fame in order to communicate an idea or vision, then that’s totally fine. But don’t try to become famous so that people love you. It is simply idiotic and it could ruin your entire life. What we need isn’t to seek for external gratification and let others hold the keys to our happiness–rather, we need to discover the keys within ourselves, and open the door to happiness and take shelter under it forever.
Fame is desired by those who are lost in life, and even when they acquire it, they can’t use it wisely–fame is using them and takes them to scary places they never wished to go. Only a person who is truly feeling well with himself or herself can use fame wisely in a beautiful, creative way, to spread positive messages that are going to have a powerful impact on the world, without being trapped by it.
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