Right now I am the most famous I have ever been, which is not much.
That’s not because I’ve done a lot of smart things. It’s largely because Dave Ramsey generously shared a platform, he spent 20 years building, with me.
But I have learned something that should sound familiar because it’s the title of this post.
You think it’s going to be fun.
You really do.
Pop culture kind of paints this picture that it’s the last great unattainable desire.
To be somebody! To be seen! To be recognized!
At the heart of it is an honest hope. We all want to be known. We want someone to know us completely and still love us.
But that’s actually the opposite of fame.
Never confuse being known with being famous. They are not the same thing.
When you are famous, people don’t know the heart of you, they know the idea of you.
They know the edited parts of you that you decide to share with the world. They know the shiny parts that make you look good. They know the manufactured you.
Can you do good stuff with fame? Absolutely! But the challenge is that as soon as that famous person exists, you start to lean into it.
It’s only natural. It’s so tempting to amplify the “idea” of you rather than wrestle with the “identity” of you.
And you are famous too.
For the first time in history, all of us have the option to have “followers” easily. Twenty years ago, the only regular people who had followers were cult leaders. And that required a lot of robes. But today, if you’re on Twitter, you’re famous to at least 10 people.
Don’t become an idea.
Stay who you are, not who you want people to think you are.
Fame never fills you up. It only empties you out.
And at the end of the day, it sucks.