Fame and fortune

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Fame and fortune

MANY people chase fame and fortune as their ultimate objective in life. But to those who have experienced it, they realise it’s not all it seems. Jim Carrey once said: “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.”

Being unknown and poor is challenging. But being rich and famous can be even more so. That’s the reason why most lottery winners end up worse off a few years later.

The United States National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) found that 70 per cent of lottery winners end up bankrupt barely a few years after receiving their windfall.

Looking back, I understand why success is better when it comes in a small but regular package. We humans can adapt better that way. A big overnight success is like a big rock coming our way. Only 30 per cent can handle it, according to statistics.

To those who are still struggling and dreaming of better days to come, keep on moving ahead, albeit slowly. Trust that it’s the best for you. I’m confident to say this because I’ve walked that path. I’ve envied other people’s fame and fortune, while cursing my life.

I have over 20 years of experience working in the corporate world. I’ve given my share of sweat and blood, only to see my friends and other people moving ahead at a faster rate. I used to regret leaving the United States in 1996 when I was having a great job that paid US$3,200 (RM8,000) per month.

I’d just graduated with distinction and was offered the job by a reputable company. I reluctantly resigned after a year because back home, my father was critically ill. Was it worth it? Well, I held his head when he breathed his last.


Now, I know I needed that hardship. I know I’m not able to handle big success in a short time.

I’d probably have messed up physically, mentally, and, very possibly, spiritually too. Imagine living in the US, away from the family, with all that money at such a young age.

If the story resonates with you, you’re not alone. Just enjoy the journey you’re taking now. Enjoy the time with your family and the company of your friends. Meanwhile, work hard to achieve your dreams. Remind yourself to focus on your goals. Control the greed, envy and jealousy. Be assured that everyone has his/her own paths and obstacles. Nobody has it all. Everyone has a story to tell.

Tell your story to your children. Help them find their own paths too. Be their motivator when the time is tough. Before you know it, you’re living a life most that’s a dream for most people. God is the best planner after all.

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