Ask a 7-year-old child if he/she wants to be famous and 9 out of 10 times, the answer will be yes. Ask a 40-year-old adult and that probability goes down to 50/50. As children, virtually everyone adores the spotlight, we dream of being the heroes of the world, the inspirers that will make it a better place. But as we age, we begin to realize and weigh the responsibility and exposure that comes with fame. However, on a general scale, fame tends to be a positive addition to success for many.

The better side of fame

It goes without saying that fame provides you with a lot of influence. You will get free stuff, you’ll no longer need to wait long lines, and anywhere you go, you will be treated differently compared to others. Also, being famous almost always relates to being successful in something. So you will receive a ton of respect from a lot of people. Compliments will flow in every day and people will practically beg to meet you.


And the other side of fame

Now for many, this is a good thing. Most dream about having this every day. But some, some just want to be left alone. Let’s take Avicci for example, a world-renowned DJ who committed suicide not long ago. The guy just wanted to make music, he never wanted to influence or special treatment. But he became successful and fame came with success.

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Now I am merely speculating but I think he was tired of being exposed all of the time, of having to carry weight, maintain an image when all he wanted was to keep making music. This might come as a surprise to some because after all why wouldn’t anyone want to influence. But it is true nonetheless, there are a variety of people around the world and everyone has a different preference.

But then again…

This is not to say, however, that fame is a bad thing. If you are able to, you can channel fame into doing a lot of good things, and sometimes, simply being yourself will inspire many others. Ellen DeGeneres, the winner of the Presidential award of freedom, came out as gay in the 90s. She was robbed of her dignity, her job, and called a sinner by people all around the world. But 5 years later, she started her own TV show and is now among the most influential people of all time.

Ellen has inspired homosexuals everywhere to accept themselves for who they are and give them the courage to come out in front of others. But would her impact be so widespread if she wasn’t as famous as she was? Definitely not. Yes, because she was famous, she was criticized and harassed by everyone, but she managed to live through it and change it into something positive and impactful.


How do you do it right?

I personally believe that as long as you do what you want to do, become successful in it and adapt to the spotlight, you won’t have much problem with fame. There are exceptions to this of course, like Avicci as I mentioned earlier. But near 100 percent of the time, you will learn to live with fame and not mind it because you realize it is a part of following your passion. As long as people see fame as just a part of their life, form personal relationships, and enjoy the other aspects of life, they should do okay even if they are not made for fame.

And what goes wrong

But the real problem arises when you gain fame through something intangible. Examples of this are mostly singers and models of today who face a lot of criticism because people think they are popular not because of talent and hard work but because of looks or influence. This can be daunting especially because you feel like you have everything, yet you have nothing. Listening to people bash your work every day or insult you for something that is either not true or something that you regret doing can harm your self-esteem in unpredictable ways. Coupled with a lack of determination and passion for what you do, this can easily lead to depression.  


To conclude

There is simply no way to make a definitive statement about fame. How much fame suits a person honestly comes down to individual preference and resilience when facing its consequences. But what I can say is that just like being rich doesn’t directly co-relate to happiness, being famous also does not necessarily mean being happy. So don’t forget your identity and run after fame your whole life. Make friends, explore your interests, travel, do things that make you happy. Because being “famous” is not nearly as important as being yourself. 

Read about Ellen De Generes’ story here and Avicci’s story here.

Here’s my most recent opinion piece

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