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No Offence Elon…

Why Do We Idolise The Few?

Too many writers, bloggers & marketers hold up the financial and business elite as the benchmark of success for the rest of us - this is a nonsense and here’s why…

So here I am browsing through Medium for interesting stuff to read and article after article I find the authors touting the political, financial and business elite as an example for the rest of us to follow.

I have a real problem with this.

Why?

Because it represents a serious flaw in our collective western world psychology. It’s not representative of the real world we live in, or indeed the particular talents and strengths of us people who occupy it.

I see Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Barack Obama (I’m struggling with this one actually), Bill Gates et al plastered all over every “How To Succeed” startup, personal development type article. Hoisted up as the pinnacle of success in the world that everyone needs to aim for.

This is simply a total skewing of reality.

Yes I get it, these people are great, they drive change and lead the world in technology and innovation and I too respect them for that- I get it ok. But it does not offer a balanced perspective of the truth and gives impressionable people the wrong message.

At worst it’s click bait. At best it displays an inability to see that inspirational people are everywhere not only amongst the super rich. I hope people can see through this narrow view of the world, but then I see the engagement and the comments and I’m left stumped.

I watched a documentary last night on BBC about a Franciscan friary where the brothers left the Bronx to go to the UK to do really important work with the local community. Their lives were simple with little in the way of luxury that most of us believe to be associated with success.

They have an older lady who tends to the kitchen every day, day in day out feeding the homeless and helping them wherever she can. She loves her work and has a big broad smile for everyone. In fact it’s not work for her rather it’s a vocation.

At least that’s how I read it.

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BBC: From the Bronx to Bradford

People like this are everywhere and not enough writers celebrate their work. Their work is invaluable to the world and yet too much commentary takes a ridiculously polarised view on success.

The simple fact of the matter is that most people are not meant to be super rich mega powerful business people. We all have a different path to follow and that path is designed to bring the best of us to the world.

What about the A&E nurse who tended to your sick child, or the soup kitchen volunteer who feeds the homeless, or the guy who delivers your post and smiles you a smile every morning, or the… they are countless.

I believe that too many of us are taken astray by the lure of shiny things in the form of a promise of world domination, or some new system that will bring us wealth or convenience.

It’s bollocks lads.

I’ve written about this before. Hyper consumerism and the desperate need to satisfy an idea of greatness is taking people away from the work that they were meant to do.

So…

What to do about that…?

Writers, let’s have a balanced approach to success. Let’s start reporting success as it really is, and not as some over refined fabricated notion based on the 1% of the 1%.

What do you think?

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Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.

Written by

Writer on Psychology of Creativity, Human Performance, Behaviour & Expertise | Examining Happiness & Work | Slight Perfectionist | larrygmaguire.com/subscribe

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