I have a moderate to severe obsession with Chelsea Handler, and regularly dream that I’m friends with her. I know it’s a little creepy, but I admire her and her life. In fact, there’s one aspect of Chelsea’s life that particularly appeals to me and that is this: she is famous enough to be totally herself, have control over her life, and take care of her loved ones. To me, what is better than that? When you’re working a typical 9-5, you have to follow the rules, behave appropriately, and work with a limited budget. You can’t talk openly about your drinking or promiscuity. But when you become Chelsea-level famous, you’re able to make the call on how you want your work to look/sound/feel. You can be completely yourself, discussions of 50 Cent and all, because it’s clear that people have embraced your personality and it works for you. You make enough money to take care of yourself and the people you love without having to worry about budget limitations. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a city that’s far from friends and family, because you can fly to see them without a second thought, or bring them out to spend time with you.
For some people, the idea of fame is appealing because it seems to suggest the ability to purchase vacation homes and expensive clothes and fancy cars. It’s about magazine covers and TV and book deals. Obviously this would be fun, but I truly think the best part of becoming ultra-successful is the ability to control all aspects of your life.
I’m on a Dave Matthews kick after seeing him in concert this past weekend, and Dave has achieved the same kind of fame. He talks in a falsetto voice during his concert, drinks while he’s performing, and goes crazy and yells as he gets really into the song. All of these actions are accepted and embraced by his fans. No one is critiquing him for his failure to use his voice like a classically trained singer would. No one is scolding him for drinking or the fact that he talks in jibberish between songs. He’s just Dave and people love him and embrace him for who he is. He can tour when he wants, bring his family with him, and play the shows that appeal to him, not the ones he has to do to make money.
I think it’s important to get right down to the root of your dream to figure out why it appeals to you so much, and being famous was always something that appealed to me as a kid. Now I realize that, as I get older, it’s less about wanting to see my own face plastered everywhere and more about having admiration for the control these people have over their life and their work.
If you have a dream, take a minute to figure out why you really want to achieve it. Do you want to be able to make choices without concern about debt and money woes? Do you want to pursue a path that no one else in your family has gone after yet? Thinking about what lies at the core of the dream can sometimes help you in figuring out exactly what matters the most to you and why.