This was originally entitled “Do We Pretend to Be Lifestyle Rockstars” and was posted on Slacker Reform. I’ve dug it out of the archives and reworked it for a broader audience.
We’re a bit of an overachieving generation and community. We want to live exciting world-changing different-country-every-four-months in a single suitcase template-free lives. We want to launch the next big startup and inspire the next social movement.
We can slip into this idea that we’re Rockstars (guitars not included).
Yet we can’t be rockstars all the time, nor should we want to be. The interesting rockstars in most fields are honest, down to earth, simple people who just happen to have worked their ass off to get where they are. Sure they’ve gotten their hands dirty and possess a bit of flair which makes them remarkable but is that all?
They worked one or three jobs while creating their art on their own time, without the presupposition that it would one day become their livelihood.
Working a job or pursuing a career is not anathema to pursuing your passion and art. Rather they are intermingled, feeding and benefiting each other. Use your work as a place to grow and develop skills you can use to leverage your passion and art. Use your passion and art to inspire your work, to give it that personal creative edge.
They gave away more value and exposure to others than they ever asked for themselves.
Giving away value and highlighting others accomplishments is not just the generous (freemium) model that marketers make it out to be. By giving away value you test new ideas in the wild, become an information resource, and reach a far larger audience than if you strictly controlled your content. Highlighting others gives credit where credit is due, enmeshes you deeper into a community of peers and expands the pool (instead of cutting it into pieces).
They believed in their idea when it wasn’t popular, when their friends thought they were crazy and they still struggled to maintain momentum when they woke up everyday.
Believing in yourself when it is only your idea is a hard thing to do, yet when we make it (in some form or another) we should not flaunt our idea as if it were better than sliced bread. Despite how remarkable your lifestyle is, how fantastic your product may be, or how many countries you’ve visited, there are millions of other people in the world living exceptionally happy lives that are entirely different from your own.
Being a social media expert, guru, entrepreneur or change agent is not necessarily the better life choice, it is merely the most fulfilling for your place in your life at this moment. The world might come around in the long run to agree with you but you can’t change peoples minds you can only sway those who are already looking for change.
So while you may be a rockstar in your positive thinking, startup, location independent mind it’s good to take a reality check sometimes and realize that on occasion you’re only playing the air guitar.