Why Being Famous Isn’t Equal To Success
It is very easy to find success stories today. Everywhere you turn, it seems people are creating wealth, building great companies, championing noble causes or rousing humanity’s aspirations to outer space. Meanwhile, you look on while others change the world.
It is also very easy to become despondent. If everyone is hitting the jackpot, why does success seemingly elude miserable you? When will your time to blow come? You face the mirror every morning, telling yourself the success is in the journey, not the destination, but it doesn’t work.
Kylie Jenner made her first million as a teenager, Mr Mark became a billionaire at 23. Bill Gates has never left the top five billionaire list since 1995. And Jeff Bezos; he is just stupendously wealthy. How can a man lose almost thirty six billion dollars in a divorce settlement and still retain the numero uno spot in the world?
You start to query the kind of fortune you brought to this world. A Yoruba proverb- Almighty wealth! It skips over the person in front to offer salutations to the person behind– comes to mind, and you wonder if you haven’t been jinxed. Your village people maybe?
No matter which way you define success, someone out there is breaking barriers and imprinting history. You don’t even seem to know what to do about your future, let alone the world’s.
The stories are all out there. A gangly 16-year old has a million followers on the gram. You look back to when you were that age, and all you remember was hunching over some useless text in your room, reading for a stupid university entrance exam . Books you can’t even remember the content again.
You look up a list of the world’s richest and it has such a broad demography; you see the old, middle aged, young adults, adolescents and teenagers. I mean blacks can be found in the top 150 now, can’t they? A Pakistani girl went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize; an African-American even became the president of “the greatest country on earth”.
You want an escape, not out of spite, but to take a breather. You log on to Facebook and a smiling picture of a colleague stares at you. The dude is at a conference of young entrepreneurs from around the world. Then you ask yourself, what am I doing with my life?
Could it have something to do with your environment or upbringing? You know you are not a dullard, but why can’t you also conceive a million-dollar idea? It’s a never-ending chain of questions.
The thing is, it’s okay to worry about such existential questions. They are the fire that fuels the burning hunger in you. They turn the gears of the mind, probing your abilities for opportunities you can utilise. At a certain point though, you have to come to this realization; that it’s neither about age, nor race. It’s not about location; living in the city or the hinterland. It is not really about colour, or any kind of label at all. It’s not even entirely about grit.
It’s about your mindset and your sense of worth as an individual. Maybe it’s about changing the way you view what success is, knowing that it is okay to be successful without being famous. A ton of people are changing the world, in relative obscurity. They do not need validation from people to achieve results, or wealth; they are content in the pure satisfaction you get from a milestone reached. Fame is entirely separate from success, unless fame is your goal, to start with.
Maybe material wealth is not what you even need. Maybe all you need is a sustainable income that allows you to pay your bills, while you have ample time for other life-enriching activities. It is still success, because not many people can afford even that luxury.
It’s about being as patient as you can be, staying your lane while working towards the goal. Forget the blinding images of the media, the bulk of worthy achievements are sweated in backrooms that have no light. They become a distraction at some point even.
Surely, the world needs game-changers; but age is just a number. Whichever age you reach your target milestone, it doesn’t really matter. Your chance will come when it will come.