Last week in the comments, Megan playfully said,

“I can’t spend my life chasing sparkly unicorn dreams of being a health coach and motivational speaker! Who do I think I am, Tony frickin’ Robbins?! I’m a NOBODY!!!”

Calm down, now. Don’t forget about the boogers.

Tony Robbins? He gets boogers. Ellen gets her feelings hurt. Beyoncé wonders if she can pull it off. Brené Brown gets mad and wants to shoot people the bird. Oprah poops.

Whoever you are bowing down to, measuring yourself against, and deferring to…they’re an awful lot like you when you take away the celebrity.

Imagine that there was some big natural disaster. Nobody can make it to their private island, the personal helicopters can’t get in, and security systems for the mansions go down and it’s not safe for the fancy people to stay there. Everyone needs to make it to the Superdome for food and shelter. Things are bad and it’s about survival now.

What do you think Tony and Beyoncé are thinking about?

I’ll tell you what: the same stuff you are.

Where’s my family? Are my parents safe? My daughter was at school when all this happened and I don’t know where she is. Where is my daughter? Has anyone seen my daughter? Honey, hand me that extra sweatshirt and put the bread and Skippy in a bag, we need to go.

Because we’re all just people. And we all care about the same people stuff.

Tony and Ellen and Beyoncé and Brené and Oprah?

Their kids get sick. Their parents slip and fall and have to be cared for. Their beloved pets die and it devastates them.

They either pick their nails or have a wart on their heel or can never spell the word “museum” right on the first try.

They have a favorite food. They have acid reflux and a prescription for anxiety.

They had a first kiss. They had a summer reading list. They had to make their bed.

Their dog gets fleas. Their car gets flat tires. They have split ends.

They have dreams that are dear them. They fear that they won’t come true.

But they have big, public failures, too. The show gets cancelled. The ratings drop. The event doesn’t sell out. The reviews are terrible. They don’t get the financing. The publisher says “no”. It’s on the news. It’s all disappointing.

But that doesn’t stop them.

They lick their wounds for a bit, but then they go into problem-solving mode. They change direction. They reinvent. They double-down. They hire lawyers and publicists and choreographers and editors and coaches. They enlist others to help bring their vision to life.

They ask for advice. They have friends and mentors who they trust. They value the input of these people but put their own instincts first.

They definitely don’t wait for permission.

They make hard decisions. They know there will be tradeoffs.

The build their dreams over time. They start in church choirs and friend’s basements. They write half paragraphs in composition notebooks. They practice dance moves in front of the mirror in their bedroom. They make recordings that no one but their stuffed animals will ever hear.

They change their minds. They know they will outgrow projects and ideas and that their work will evolve over time. They know that makes them innovative, not flaky.

But most of all, they keep raising their hand and saying yes. They keep finding ways to sing for people, write for people, and talk with people. And if you want your experience of being a human to look a little more like theirs, you will too.

Laura Simms is an expert in meaningful work who challenges conventional wisdom by asking people to ditch their passions and start with purpose.

If you have too many passions, zero passions, or can't seem to combine your passions, try her purpose-first approach to find a career you love.  


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