Why do you think people are in awe of celebrities? Why do we look up to and are inspired by great actors, artists, writers, sports champions, successful business people? Why do we dream to be like them? It might be easy to think “because of their fame, wealth, lifestyle” and similar, but I think there might be a different answer.
This is what I found out when I asked myself, Why do I admire them, really? Invariably, the people I applaud the most have one thing in common: they look and feel happy, fulfilled by what they do. And that’s what I admire. The fact, or at least the idea they give me, that they love what they’re doing and they’re happy doing it. That’s what inspires me, really.
That’s why they seem indefatigable, they keep creating, because they love it and they can’t not do it. It would be painful for them to not do what they do. Take Woody Allen for example (and everyone else like him, in all fields), a creative force that can’t be stopped.
For someone like him doing something and failing is less painful than not doing it. “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” ― Woody Allen.
If you look at them, if you really listen to them and connect with them, you feel that they are happy, fulfilled, because they’re answering the calling at the center of their being.
Mother Teresa would’ve been miserable living in a lush Bel Air mansion if that prevented her from helping those she felt needed her help in the way she wanted to give help.
And the same would be true for Steven Spielberg. Granted he already lives in Bel Air or thereabout, but if you told him, “We’ll guarantee your yearly billionaire income but you can’t tell any more stories, in any form, no writing, directing, nothing,” I bet he’d rather take a pay cut than quit telling his stories. Because that’s what makes him happy.
And then, if what makes you happy can be shared with others, then everything can be even more powerful and beautiful.
It doesn’t have to be huge, though. It can be a hobby that you share with your family, or your friends. That’s perfect.
I believe that’s why we look up to celebrities, because not only do they do what makes them happy but they also share it with a huge number of people. The fame, the wealth, the lifestyle and the rest are all perks, byproducts of this simple paradigm: do what makes you happy and share it with others. The sharing it with others, the “putting it out there” is what brings about the perks.
In the beautiful story (based on true events) told in Sean Penn‘s film “Into The Wild”, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) writes in his book at the end of his journey, “Happiness only real when shared.”
Now, I don’t go as far as to say it’s not real, because I believe we’re all connected, anyway, and if one’s happy that’s simply beautiful. But I’d certainly say, “Happiness more powerful when shared.”
For this year, and every year to come, this is what I wish for all: follow your bliss and share your happiness.