Last week we talked about why we are attached to material things. We discussed why we always crave for more money and more wealth. This week let’s talk about why we crave for name and fame. These days we see everywhere in most people a blatant desire to promote the ‘self’. We want to become popular. We want to be known by others. We hanker for appreciation and praise all the time and sometimes even solicit them from others in a brazen manner. Often, we embarrassingly go out of the way to brand ourselves. Today, social media has become a handy tool for all of us to sing our own praise, blow our own trumpet. Just imagine the craving of today’s youngsters for more likes and comments on their pictures and posts on Facebook or Instagram.
But the million dollar question is why human beings have this craving for name, fame and popularity. To understand the reason behind this let us look at the scientific aspect of it. Whenever, we receive appreciation or praise from others, there takes place a release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical released by neurons to send signals to other nerve cells. The dopamine naturally produced by our brain makes you feel good and have self-confidence. This feel good factor and self-confidence can do wonders for us. It can bring out the best in us and inspire us to excel in what we are good at. So essentially receiving appreciation or praise is not a bad thing. But the problem starts when this ‘feel good’ factor turns into an obsession. Once it becomes an obsession, it becomes a compulsive behavior. Then man starts chasing appreciation, praise and popularity all the time and stops focusing on their responsibilities and tasks.
But there are another type of human beings who hesitate to take credit for anything. Such people are the epitome of humility. They give credit to others even for their own achievements. Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great’ describe such personalities as level-5 leaders. According to Jim, a level-5 leader is one who blends humility with intense professional will. He identifies the characteristics common to Level 5 leaders as humility, will, ferocious resolve, and the tendency to give credit to others while assigning blame to themselves. Such leaders are rare in our social, political and business world, however they do exist. Jim has presented the success of outwardly humble, even shy, senior executives like Gillette’s Colman M. Mockler and Kimberly-Clark’s Darwin E. Smith in his book. In my opinion, back in India our very own, Dr Abdul Kalam Azad, former Preseident of India is an example of Level-5 leadership. He was a blend of great humility, unparallel wisdom and gritty leadership.
My Spiritual Guide, Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra reassures that name and fame will embrace us if we don’t seek them and focus of our task alone. He says, “It is not right to start any activity with hope for name and honor. But to the extent you do any work unselfishly, name and honor must serve you.” According to him, the man who performs an activity for the sole objective of name and fame, he is a nothing hypocrite. He is busy He also says, “The longing for name and fame is a tremendous obstacle to self-elevation” How do we give up this desire for name and fame? Well, the only way is to have another desire which is stronger and nobler than the desire for name and fame. What is that divine desire? .