November 30th, 2017 5:44pm
Is there any person in the history of humankind, other than Jesus, who was able to amass a loyal following of over two billion people? I would challenge you to find one CEO who wouldn’t kill for that type of consumer base. How about motivational speaker? Clergy? Author? Facebook Page administrator? Athlete? Everyone dreams of great success that we often measure by how many people follow us, are interested in our work, or buy our product or service.
We often strive to be the biggest and the best so that we can gain the most attention and following. A little while ago, while at a party and around the time I first had the idea to write this blog, I enjoyed a conversation with a woman I had just met. When I asked her if she had a Twitter account, she replied, “I can’t get into that whole Twitter thing. I mean “followers”? Come on, I don’t want “followers” Jesus has followers!” Now that’s what I’m talking about! Followers? Many of us judge ourselves by our popularity.
Facebook had the correct strategy. The day I opened my Facebook account, these words flashed across my page “You Have No Friends.” Well those are fighting words, and enough to catapult anyone into high gear to start working Facebook!
Instead of trying to compete with Jesus and amass a world following, or trying to be in the words of Frank Sinatra, “...top of the list, king of the hill, A-Number One…” here are 5 principles to assure that obtaining followers won’t be the primary metric of our success.
1. Do your best, don’t try to be the best
It may be often that we get sidetracked and discouraged, because we see someone doing something better than us. However, the truth is that we all possess particular gifts. And with these gifts, it is important to realize that being the best is rarely within our reach. Doing our best is always within our reach. When we try first to be the best—the most famous, the most visible—we can shortchange our abilities. Let being the best be the icing on the cake and something that can happen with less effort and more organically.
2. Accept that the Divine exists within all of us, equally
Whether you believe that the Divine is Jesus, Hashem, Allah, Devas, Vishnu, Spirit, or another entity), that divine being does not and cannot play favorites. We may think that we have the popular edge by imagining ourselves as better looking than others, smarter, richer, fitter, or more able-bodied than others, but in our quest to flaunt our genetic attributes we miss the glory of true beauty. Focusing on our inner beauty and the beauty that surrounds us permits appreciation of the individual magnificence instead of trying to satisfy an insatiable appetite for attention and recognition. We all must practice respecting the views and opinions of others and be open to contrary perspectives, not believing we are right all the time.
3. Focus on the quality of your journey
Often we have our "eye on the prize", which can mean fame or fortune. Striving to accumulate as many "fans" as we can becomes our goal. However, when we have one eye on this type of goal, we only have one eye on the path in which to find the way. The largeness of our future of our goal can be overwhelming and paralyze us and sometimes make us not act so nicely. This makes our journey becomes less meaningful; less fulfilled. When we focus on the path, on each step, on each day, we eventually create a future that is bright and more "Godly".
4. Find glory in the few not the many
To our primitive nature the more friends we have or the more people we have following us, the more we feel protected and safe. Safety is in numbers, as they say. But the fallacy is that as we strive to become “famous” when our sole purpose amounts to accumulating fans, we miss a lot along the way. To be sure, the amount of money one makes directly corresponds with the number of people who desire ones goods or services. In fact, I have written that money is a way those people say “thank you” for what you have given. But the quest to obtain lots of money greatly explains why so many people want to be like Jesus; that is, have a world following. When we’re on that quest, we often disconnect from the few, namely our family and friends. It is with the latter, though, that we will find our glory and share the glory of our God.
5. Focus on Daily Magic
As Albert Einstein once said, “Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Often in our daily lives our paths cross with strangers, we hear from an old friend, our special song comes on the radio, a chain of small events leads to a surprise meeting—all serendipity; all coincidence. Yet, when we are working frantically to meet our number goals, we often miss this magic. When our daily purpose is to increase our fan base or customer list, we end up missing the magic right before our eyes.
Seeking to be as wildly popular, recognized, and establish a legacy like the man who many believe is God, is a set up for a life forever longing. Hopefully, these five principles can help keep life in perspective.
© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD