Fame Follows Name

“Talent is God given, be humble; Fame is man-given, be grateful; Conceit is self-given, be careful.”

These are the golden words of John Wooden, the famous American basketball coach who passed away in the year 2010 at almost 100 years of age. He was also known as Coach Wooden.

We always hear stories of talented youngsters who achieved remarkable feats that even the matured people sometimes consider impossible or at least unusual but the advice from the Coach is to be humble and not let that talent go to one’s head.‘Fame’ is man-given because it’s the society that makes a person famous hence the advice to be grateful and accept it with humility because if you don’t, your fame will be short-lived.

At the same time, Coach Wooden also warns us to be careful against conceit because conceit leads to false pride, which in turn results in a superiority complex and ultimately to seclusion.

William Hazlitt, the 19th-century essayist, writer and philosopher touched upon the subject of fame in such beautiful words: “The love of fame is almost another name for the love of excellence; or it is the ambition to attain the highest excellence, sanctioned by the highest authority, that of time.”

Last, but not the least, I have this beautiful and exact quote from Edward Everett Hale, the early 20th-century American author, and clergyman who rose to become the Chaplain of the United States Senate in 1903:

"Make it a habit and bring perfection to your lifestyle, no matter how modest or simple but promise yourself never ever to compromise with situations. Find solutions, aim higher than you can think and strive to tread where nobody dares. Perfection must become the sole aim of your life".

There are many different facets of perfection, and I’ll help you decipher these in the following lines.As a matter of fact, there are but only two scenarios in human life: first, to become famous and live in people’s memory for a long time to come, and the second, to die in oblivion.All famous people, since times immemorial, have had one thing in common: Dedication to their cause.

Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Abraham Lincoln, William Wordsworth, Robert Browning, Sir Donald Bradman, Pete Sampras, Rod Laver and many others have all had this sense of devotion to their individual causes that brought about a drastic change in their chosen field and thence followed their personal glory.

The number of sacrifices they made by depriving themselves of worldly comforts and personal leisure time while focusing their absolute attention to the cause that they made their life and blood are what brought them the laurels. Painters, philosophers, artists, politicians, leaders, sportsmen, armed forces’ commanders or industrialists, does not matter what background they came from, the singular trait of devotion to the cause has brought these individuals to the pinnacle of popularity so much so that their names have become indelible from this firmament.

Considering the above fact, how many of you are willing to make the same amount of commitment and sacrifice to create an everlasting name for yourself?

Fame is the direct result of continued dedication and consistent progression of visionaries who put others before self. It is this dedication and continued progress that helps instill the goodwill and gratitude in the hearts of the masses to keep alive forever the name that cared for them in spite of all adversities as well as negativity.

Fame is also the result of a 'Vision' that can direct the visionary to see beyond the immediate, prompting him or her to strive to garner enough strength to make the vision come true.It is the power of this vision that creates ripples in the lives of the ordinary men and the person with the potential to generate those ripples makes a name for himself. However, no visionary has ever embarked upon this journey with the intention to become famous because if he did, it would not be a selfless act and it is a well-known fact that selfish people have no claim to fame, whatsoever.

Sometimes people mistake fame for popularity. Though the two seem to be similar, there is a considerable difference between the two. Fame is lasting while popularity is transitory. Many more people achieve popularity while fame or glory is reserved for the greatest.

Popularity brings fame, no doubt, but that fame is transitory in the sense that it is confined to a much smaller circle. It has numerous limitations ranging from geographic to periodic, from educational to creative, from scientific to curative and from productive to destructive.

Geographic popularity is one of the most easily attainable. By being an outstanding contributor to a local cause, any real object, one can become popular: a grade level student can become a favorite in his class, in his school or even within the entire school board and the same can be true for a local leader whether political or industrial.

Many heroic deeds have been performed by the simple, down-to-earth persons the world over, almost on a daily basis, but does anyone ever remember their names and/or faces after a year, a month or even a week?

Such popularity may make you very proud of yourself, but it does not make you famous enough to be known by the human race at a global level, over a prolonged period of time.

How many people are actually aware of the inventor of the very first robot, not many I guess? The latest news on this particular front is the development of sensory perception in these very robots whereby they can actually ‘feel’ whatever they touch and can also act judiciously if the situation so demands.

On the one hand, the curative achievements have brought an immense amount of popularity to the leaders in their own field of growth, e.g., Mm Marie Curie, the only woman who won the Nobel Prize twice. Her individual contribution to the discovery of Palladium and Radium has been almost forgotten by the public at large.

On the other hand, the fame acquired by Mother Teresa is known all over the world so much so that she is being canonized for eventual sainthood.

President Kennedy’s call for landing a man on the surface of the moon and then to safely bring him back as well, even that too within the decade, has been acclaimed by one and all but not many people remember his call for this actually to materialize in true form. He fulfilled his promise although he did not live to see the day for himself. His dream does live on.

Now, consider the inventor of dynamite, the single most destructive force ever invented by any human. He still lives on and shall continue to do so with his hugely sought-after and the globally respected philanthropic gift of the ‘Nobel’ prize. This goes on to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt that the power of fame is not bound by the actual product but is always attached to the name.

Over one hundred individuals quoted in my books have all had their fair share of highs and lows, at one time or another, but their persistence paid off, and that is how they live on and shall continue to do so, forever and a day. Their individual names shall be indelibly marked on the annals of the sky for generations to see and revere and that is the TRUE FAME!

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