Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Whatever You Do, Don’t Be a Celebrity

Our culture celebrates celebrities to a fault. We place such a high priority on being famous that any other social status is unacceptable. But what does it mean — to be a celebrity — and is it worth the cost?

Don't be a celebrity

Photo credit: Jim Hutchison (Creative Commons)

The search for meaning

We all want to be “epic” and don’t know why. Want to be important, to be needed.

We look at celebrities — famous people — and we envy them: their money, possessions, and prestige. We want their lives. But why?

What do celebrities seem to have that others do not? An audience. People who love them. So when we want the lives of actors and rock stars and millionaires, what are we really saying? That we wished someone loved us.

The tragedy

It goes without saying that this is tragic. Because not everyone can be a celebrity, and not everyone should. But we all should have someone to love us.

Success isn’t fame. And fame is hardly ever success. Success is about more than superficial standings or the number of Twitter followers you have.

Follow the latest celebrities, if you don’t believe me. See what “success” as done for them. Their stories are rife with pain and suffering and heartache. Abuse and addiction, divorce and failed relationships.

And this is what we want? Really?

Why not redefine “celebrity”?

If we’re envious of the lives celebrities seem to have, why not reconsider what we think it means to be famous? To earn attention? What about starting small with stardom?

Here’s an idea: Try being famous first in your own home before heading to Hollywood. Why not live a life worthy of praise from your friends and family before you try to appease critics?

Well, then. You might actually have something to make the celebrities envious. You might be rich, indeed.

Have you ever wanted to be a celebrity? Why or why not? Share in the comments.

*Photo credit: Jim Hutchison (Creative Commons)

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • AntoxaGray

    One advantage celebrities have is people listening to their ideas. But I also often see they waste that possibility and dont tell any interesting ideas.

    I’d always imagine for example, Dendi instead of playing Dota 2 all the time, he’d make a map in Worldcraft for Half-Life, encouraging more people to try make maps too. But I know he will never do that. I had fantasy if I was on his place, I’d randomly quit middle of dota 2 match and launch editor. All of 100.000 viewers in stream said “wtf?”, some would leave and other would watch level design stream.

    If I ever wanted to become famous, for only one reason: so many people would listen to my ideas. I dont care about money, fame, tons of hot chicks or expensive cars or yachts as much as about that.

    I’d launch campaign against position:fixed headers or to remove likes from instagram. Or encourage everyone to learn programming language in school, even girls and 15 year old ppl. These kind of ideas. I wouldnt waste my fame to make selfie photos near ferraris and big mansions.

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  • Nicolas Connault

    Great article Jeff. Just one typo, ‘as’ instead of ‘has’:

    See what “success” as done