Friday, October 06, 2006

What We All Want

My son thinks I'm famous, a notion that I actually find quite amusing, especially since I was once (and he 'knows' it), but not for the reasons he's glommed onto now. When I showed him my name in the back of John Moe's book, Conservatize Me, I really only did it because I figured he might find it mildly interesting. And I steeled myself for an appropriately pre-teenager derisive (or worse, completely devoid of emotion) "Oh." Instead, what I got was an enthusiastic hug and wide eyes proclaiming my importance in a world beyond his own - Wow, you're famous! It was in that moment that I began to re-think my position on why we sometimes pursue fame, or at least appear to.

Sure, it's nice to feel well-regarded within my own family and circle of friends. And for some, fame or recoginition mean credibility, access, or power, which might be inducement enough to crave it. I'll even readily admit that there are perq's to being a celebrity that are kinda cool - getting invited to sit in the players' wive's section at baseball games is one that I appreciated - but I've always maintained that the downsides mean that (for me anyway) the equation never really quite balances out in favor of pursuing fame.

Thinking about what it is that makes me proud to have been on-air for all those years even when my performances didn't always warrant such pride and proud to have been associated with John's project in however small a way it was and exactly why it is that I'm so happy that just having my name in a book means so much to the junior member of the family all helped me to crystallize my thoughts on the matter.

For me, and I suspect for a great many others out there too, it's not the fame itself that matters so much. What matters is that it is a flag indicating that we've achieved something else that matters even more. We've made a difference.

Let me know at how you make a difference. I always like to know these things.

What does "making a difference" mean to you and what qualifies as that?

Kimm Viebrock is an ICF-credentialed Associate Certified Coach who helps technology professionals and service-oriented technology groups develop and use their skills more effectively and increase their value within the larger organization, allowing them to do more, do it better and have more fun doing it. Kimm is devoted to finding the connectedness in life.