In 1996 Jim Carey was quoted as saying: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
I went on the Bachelor Canada to find a wife in a kind of an online-dating-on-steroids scenario. But a side effect is that in recent months I’ve had the fortune to become a Canadian D-list celebrity. And it’ll likely last for all of a few months. But I say ‘fortunately’, not because I’ve enjoyed some recognition, but because five minutes ago I let a little girl, who really looked like she needed to pee, go in front of me in the bathroom line.
When someone gets recognized from being on TV, they’re privy to a sense of belonging, acceptance and validation of self worth, that only popularity can bring. Humans crave this. It’s why everybody just wants to be the popular kid in high school (but hey, maybe you didn’t and in that case, by god good for you). Think of it like an emotional high.
But this kind of emotional high is fleeting and relative to what the person has had before. And once they have 1000 ‘likes’ on an instgram photo, 1000 ‘likes’ doesn’t give the emotional high the first one did. They need 2000 or probably more really..
I don’t know why, and maybe someone can enlighten me, but humans get ‘high’ on this attention and it’s addictive the same way drugs are. The worst part is that we acclimatize to it very quickly and need more the next time for the same level of excitement and ‘high’.
But it’s the things you’ve heard of all your life that really make you sustainably happy that aren’t relative. Being a good person doesn’t require you to be an exponentially better person the next day. It’s a very different kind of positive emotion. Letting the little girl who really looks like she needs to pee go first, even though you’ve just had a beer, will always make you a nice person. And that feeling is sustainable. It will make you happy forever. And the reason is because you are happy with yourself. You are happy with who you are as a person.
I’m incredibly fortunate to have had a taste of fame that makes people happy in such an unsustainable way. It’s made me appreciate the sustainable side and really know how powerful it is.