Thursday, May 2, 2013
I'm starting to see a trend from a wide range of interests from sports, comedy, music, art, really almost everything. Since we have become so technologically dominant in the way we view our favorite sports, listen to our favorite music and converse with each other, I'm seeing people validate their craft by how man views their YouTube video has or how many likes their Facebook page has. I'm going to call bullshit on this way of thinking. It's a very weak minded way of defending the relevance of your "brand". I have to take a step back and acknowledge that it is ok to appreciate the popularity of a certain video and be proud of the fact that you have received x amount of people who have taken the time to watch your video or view your page. But if you're going to sit back and use that as the stat that drives your view of how relevant you are or how well you are doing then I think you are doing something very dangerous that can curb your original motivation for doing your work, and that is getting comfortable.
Public Enemy had famously belted the wonderful anthem of "Don't believe the hype" that I think many people should pay attention to. There was a documentary style show on ESPN titled The Last Game which followed around the Central Bucks West High School Football team for a season where they had won two Quad A Pennsylvania State titles in a row in the previous two seasons. There was a great part where the coach during pre-season training camp had screamed at a lineman during a drill who was going through the motions and had said to him "Get out! You're soft, go sit down and read your press clippings some more." I felt that was very profound and can be a very powerful point. If you get comfortable you start to relax, you start to sit back and read the paper that talks about your accomplishments and you start to believe it. There is nothing wrong with being confident with your ability, but when you step over that line and become arrogant, now you're in a stage of vulnerability because you can't see the angles that once made you successful they are clouded by your own ego. And if your answer back is well I was in the paper, it's the same as if well I have x amount of views for a reason or x amount of likes for a reason. At the end of the day that shit means nothing, it's like air, it's there and you can't really bottle it or use it, it's just there.
If we were using such logic to decide who is the better musician, the better athlete, the better coach, then this example only has to be made once, then that would mean Justin Bieber is a better musician than Eric Clapton. If you think that is correct then I can show you the deed I have for the Brooklyn Bridge and I'm accepting bids. It truly seems people love hiding behind these numbers, and when you do that, you expose yourself to what you're all about, and that is someone who has little character, little substance and most likely surrounds themselves with an entourage who are yes men. Truly successful people in all areas of life do the best they can and are always on a quest to learn and be better and will never quote likes or views as to what they are all about.