The Costs of Losing Fame

One of the most important lessons the Value Zodiac teaches is that the vast majority of people are persuadable.

Because of this, there are occasionally times when an effective message interacts with specific cultural circumstances to create resonance.  At times like these, a mass consensus can quickly consolidate to create a mass movement.

Suddenly the ideas you may have been advocating for years or decades become immensely popular.  Success, long sought is finally before you.  It is surprising and you are filled with a great sense of validation.  This period may go on for weeks or years–sometimes decades.  But like all movements, the energy that sustains them eventually abides.  People are fickle and the diversity of thought combined with an evolving environment generally means that the great consensus around your ideas can fall apart just as rapidly as it formed.

350px Everest North Face toward Base Camp Tibet Luca Galuzzi 2006 edit 1 The Costs of Losing Fame

Many great people have been broken by this phenomenon.  When having struggled so long to find success, the prospect of losing that sense of recognition can be demoralizing.  When you are on you way up, the road is long and difficult, but you have the dream–the belief that the journey will be worth the effort once you reach the summit.  But few people envision the life that follows the summit.  The summit is lonely and small.  And when it comes to the summit of popularity, many others are climbing the summit after you.  Of course, there are many ways to describe success.  But those who believe that success is largely defined by popular adulation are going to be painfully impacted when they move off the popular stage.

When you are on “your way down”, the sense of hope and its psychological nourishment that fueled you during the climb may abandon you.  This is potentially crushing and can leave you embittered, unpleasant, resentful, and defeated despite your time on the front page of People Magazine.

 The Costs of Losing Fame

Mark Twain 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether it is the tragic tales of William Randolph Hearst, Mark Twain, Margaret Thatcher, or Frank Capra, history is littered with amazing people who had great difficulty adjusting to a world that seemed to have moved beyond them.  Though history usually reconsiders these icons after death, it is of little comfort to them while they are living.

Fame is fickle.  It is an important lesson to not tie up too much of your self-identity in how you are perceived, for it is something that is beyond your control.  Being focused on building your character to your satisfaction, building a healthy family and strong personal relationships, and increasing your contribution in making the world a better place will, in the long run, be much more rewarding for you and far less fleeting.


 The Costs of Losing Fame
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