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It’s Better to Be Nobody Than Somebody

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It’s Better to Be Nobody Than Somebody

Most of us desire to fit in, but if we’re good at what we do, we want to stand out. The quest for notoriety leads people to reach incredible heights, but is fame all it’s cracked up to be?

Pixar’s rise to greatness is a good example of how fame has its pros and cons. When they made Toy Story, they invented an entirely new way to make animated films. They knew that the film would present many challenges, but they also felt they could tell a great story.

Toy Story wound up grossing $373,554,033 worldwide, and Pixar became a household name. John Lasseter, the company’s founder, describes his experience with Pixar’s second film, A Bug’s Life:[1]

“When we made Toy Story nobody knew who we were but now… I felt like we were making A Bug’s Life in a fishbowl.”

    The notoriety put the studio under pressure to make something as good as or better than Toy Story. They had to improve their technique and avoid the sophomore slump.

    The unknown studio had the freedom to do whatever it wanted, provided they could find talent and money.[2] As a big animation studio, audiences are much more critical, and they have to answer to Disney.

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    Being famous has its perks. We love validation, and having people recognize our talents is an amazing feeling. Feeling like a nobody who can’t seem to turn their dreams into reality doesn’t feel great.

    Obscurity isn’t all bad, though. Don’t let the quest for fame deprive you of the fruits that come from being an unknown.

    Being invisible is scary

      We humans are a social bunch. We learned to stick together because doing so increased our chances of survival. Exile from the group made it tough to get all the resources necessary to make it.

      Beyond evolutionary reasons for sticking together, we’re sensitive to being left out. Deep down, most people just want to be wanted. When we feel invisible, it can create an existential crisis for us.

      When we’re left in the shadows, we often feel sad and envious of people in the spotlight, who seems happy to live in the spotlight and have the attention of people around him.

      When we feel like somebodies instead of nobodies, we don’t question our existence. Our position in society is constantly reinforced by the attention we receive from others.

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      Being famous is not fun

        Being famous satisfies some needs, but it creates others. When you’re famous, you can’t just do whatever you want. You can’t take on certain types of projects because your audience has expectations about what you can and can’t create.

        When you live “under the radar,” you are free to make mistakes. As more people recognize and look up to you, they’ll watch your every move. They usually do this out of love, but it can feel like you don’t have any privacy. Every decision you make is on display. You have to be careful about everything you do when you’re famous.

        Fame also brings more responsibility. The stakes are higher when you start a new project because you have a lot to lose. As you gain fame, other people depend on you. If your new project fails miserably, you might cost yourself and your team their livelihoods.

        Pixar has much more at stake now than when started. They’re responsible to shareholders, and they have an audience that expects them to deliver. Taking a big risk could cost them more money and resources than when they first got into the animation business.

        The perk of obscurity

          Everyone is an unknown for some of their journey. You should embrace and enjoy having the chance to rise and improve. You can make mistakes, and nobody will notice. You don’t have as many worries, your risks are smaller, and if you fail, you can bounce back quickly. Obscurity can be liberating.

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          Imagine you’re an unknown author who decides to publish a novel unlike anything you’ve done before. The novel tanks, but since nobody knew who you were, you were able to spend some time reflecting on what happened. You realized that you were writing what you thought people wanted instead of being true to yourself.

          If you had made the same mistake as an established author, your audience would not be forgiving. They might think that you’re washed up instead of recognizing that you are experimenting. Obscurity gives you the freedom to find out who you are without having to answer to others.

          Being well-known has its advantages, but the cost can be high too. It’s best to appreciate your life for exactly what it is. If you want to achieve fame, realize that the entire journey from being nobody to somebody (not just the part where you’re famous) is important.

          Being somebody doesn’t mean that you need to be world-famous. You can be somebody in your hometown or city. If you’ve achieved what you want, you are somebody. Obscurity is just one part of that journey to being who you want to be and doing what you want to do.

          Fame is an endless chase

          We’ve all heard about people getting their 15 minutes of fame or becoming one-hit wonders. Fame is always subject to change. You may have times when your work is very popular, and there might be points when people don’t know your name. Only a few people have staying-power to be famous forever.

          The public’s attention span is short. Even very famous people don’t get attention 24/7. Some of them crave their alone-time, while others seem confused and upset by it. Lady Gaga stated in the documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two:[3]

          “…And I go from everyone touching me all day and talking at me all day to total silence.”

          The endless chase to be validated and recognized is exhausting and unhealthy.

          Be a nobody for a while

          Realize that fame is the side effect of luck, hard work, and circumstance. Take in the good and bad about living in obscurity for a while. Being an unknown gives you the chance to fail and take risks without destroying your career.

          Every failure will help you improve and refine your mission. Obscurity is your playground. Go there and get creative without worrying about anything other than the things that you love. Living in obscurity and being okay with it will teach you what you need to know to handle fame one day.

          We think that the lives of famous people are easy, but that is only because we see the results of the hard work that they did in obscurity. When Sylvester Stallone wrote the script for Rocky, he was so poor that he had to sell his dog to survive.[4] Chris Pratt lived in a van before he got his big break in Hollywood.[5]

          The journey from obscurity takes time, and you learn many lessons along the way. You find out what you’re made of, and you refine your craft until it’s ready for the world to enjoy. Instead of worry about getting famous, concentrate on being the best version of yourself that you can be.

          Reference

          More by this author

          Leon Ho

          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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          Last Updated on January 12, 2022

          15 Reasons Why Taking Action Is Important For Success

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          15 Reasons Why Taking Action Is Important For Success

          Success is not guaranteed at birth, and work is required to achieve what you desire. As you grow personally and professionally, you should explore these 15 reasons why taking action is important for success so you can reach your dreams.

          However, before jumping in and taking action, it’s essential to understand its three components.

          1. To take action means to do something to get a particular result.[1] Any time you intentionally create movement, it is all because of the desired outcome. Execute your actions to support your dreams and goals.
          2. Action can be hard to take, but that’s only due to the fact of misrepresentation of the possibilities. Do your best not to focus on the outcome. Instead, ask yourself, “What does this make possible?” Even though obstacles and detours will distract you from your desired results, don’t let that be your primary focus. You’re created for more, so be willing to go the extra mile!
          3. Failure to take action can stem from many areas, the main one being the failures that have already occurred. Look at your failures as a lesson learned, so you can be willing to learn even more. Stretching yourself beyond what you can see builds trust within yourself and seizes the opportunity of the present!

          “Failure is only a trial run to the success for the greatest of these, your journey.”—Kristianne Wargo

          If you want to escape the world of mediocrity, you have to embrace the power of taking action. By doing so, you keep moving in the right direction.

          Your journey is no longer dependent on the outcomes or the results. Instead, it empowers you to tread the trail of hope even when all seems hopeless.

          Further, the main result becomes the balance in your life, all based on Newton’s First Law: the state of motion of an object is maintained as long as the object is not acted upon by an unbalanced force.

          You can take all the hits that come your way, good or bad, due to all things resisting changes in their state of motion—they tend to “keep doing what they’re doing.”[2] The only shift that needs to happen comes from you taking action.

          “Action is the foundational key to all success.”—Pablo Picasso

          Taking action seems to be so fundamentally basic that it should not even have to be mentioned. But life can have you turning in circles that you become disengaged with the basics and need a foundational review. Blaze a new trail filled with the discovery of consistent actions and a determined heart.

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          These 15 reasons why taking action is important for success will decrease your confusion while increasing productivity and heightening your purpose for a lifetime.

          1. Action Allows You to Shift or Pivot

          It’s easier to direct a moving vehicle than one that is parked. So, why not keep moving? Your activity encourages what you don’t see to become visible as you go through the intentional motions. Here is where change occurs, releasing what might have been a struggle to that which is natural.

          2. Action Ignites Motivation

          Getting through the stuff when life happens doesn’t come from pity parties but by taking the next step.

          When you constantly fight for encouragement, your emotions are set in overdrive. The focus is unbearable and stifles the opportunities before you. All you feel is what couldn’t be, and you leave all on the table what you couldn’t see.

          Keep your emotions and feelings in check by staying in action.

          “One step at a time leads to miles of greatness!”—Kristianne Wargo

          3. Action Establishes Habits

          The more you do something, the easier it is to keep doing it, whether good or bad. You can’t succeed if you don’t do anything.

          By maintaining the action, you are setting yourself up for a greater chance of hitting your goals without being too detailed and overplaying the plan.

          4. Action Shrinks Failures

          As much as you always want to be successful, failure is inevitable. But by taking action, your failures become less of the everyday cornerstone and more about engaging in firsts and seconds.

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          The only failure is not trying. So, when you try, you cannot fail.

          5. Action Induces Winning

          No one afraid of losing has ever won. How many times does an athlete have to lose before the win? Too many most would say. But actually, it’s just enough to keep the iron in the fire to refine the gifts and talents. It’s in the fire where champions are made.

          6. Action Breeds Better

          Preparation is good. However, it’s easy to get stuck in research and making sure everything is going to play out as planned. But you can get buried in the preparation and forget that to get you moving to the next level, you must be in action.

          Don’t let yourself become trapped in practice trying to get it all perfect first. Action will always make it better.

          “Action is the heartbeat of success.”—Kristianne Wargo

          7. Action Determines What’s Possible

          You cannot eliminate what doesn’t work and establish what does work except through trial and error. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. That requires action on your part.

          You have to be ready and willing to test in real-time to understand the complexity of what you are going after. The more action you take, the deeper your possibilities grow.

          8. Actions Create Your “Now”

          There is no need to put off tomorrow what you can do today. Build consistency in doing something with intention, and see how your life changes.

          If you wait for the right time to show up, you will be waiting forever. Take your day into your own hands and create your “now.”

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          9. Action Slows Down Time

          There’s no time like the present. By staying in action, essentially, you slow down your inhibitions and fears from manifesting into more than what they need to be. You get to decide how fast you move by the actions you take in your every day leading to your success.

          10. Action Produces a Result

          How will you know if what you are doing will get you down the lane of success? Trial and error.

          Every step you take produces an outcome, good or bad. So, why shy away from what works. Do it and make the adjustments needed in real-time.

          11. Action Creates a Chain Reaction

          Once you experience the result and determine the validity of how it coincides with your dreams and goals—meaning getting it right—then it directs you to the next step.

          The plan of how you’re going to achieve success continues through the chain reaction. Action is the foundation where consistency is built.

          12. Action Silences Your Inner Critic

          The most significant time spent is with your inner voice.

          If you are in a constant mode of debating whether or not you are worthy, good enough, or qualified, how will you be able to move forward? You’ll be frozen in time. However, staying in action makes the inner voice more of a nuisance yet can be muted by taking the next step.

          13. Action Utilizes Knowledge

          Reading and learning are addicting. But no matter how much you read or learn, nothing will gain success for you unless you take action.

          The thing is that action is not so exciting. In fact, action can be tedious, especially if you don’t get the desired results. Yet, knowledge can lead your action when utilized appropriately. Don’t sit on what you know. Knowledge is power.

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          14. Action Minimizes Risks

          When you are in constant motion, momentum is on your side. What appears as a risk initially fades away more quickly because there is no time to overthink what just happened. The risks exist only to be outnumbered by the actions taken.

          15. Action Builds Trust with Yourself

          Many failures and dreams stop you in your tracks simply because of the lack of trust.

          When you find yourself down and out, and your record reflects losing more than winning, it’s easier to quit and retreat. Yet, if you have confidence in yourself, trust triumphs over what didn’t happen, opening the door for what’s possible.

          The Success Equation for Life

          Knowledge + Action = Success

          Ready your head to make a commitment that nullifies the missing link and establishes success by taking action. Here is where you will celebrate success more often than not. Now, the results and outcomes may not be as expected, but a little suspense never hurt any journey.

          May your heart compound the experiences, including your commitment to taking action and the results of what’s to come. Claim the ultimate success when action meets your everyday.

          “Grow beyond what you see so you can succeed beyond what you desire.”—Kristianne Wargo

          Your journey is a path of many colors. Take a chance to make a change to choose the action that serves your purpose. Cheers to you for taking action and creating success this new season! The best is yet to come. Be present. Be incredible. Be you!

          More Tips to Get You Into Action

          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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          Reference

          [1] Merriam-Webster: take action
          [2] The Physics Classroom: Newton’s First Law

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