Epic and legendary. Two words I’ve come to loathe.
I pay a lot of attention to personal & professional development, leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing, and more. Everywhere I look — from books to blogs to podcasts to live events — someone is always encouraging me to “be legendary”, “live your legend”, or “do epic shit.” I’ll admit, I bought into that idea for awhile. But the more I pursued it, the more unhappy I became.
When I look around my country, my own community, and even my own circle of friends, I see people buying into that advice every day. They’re hustling. They’re whipping themselves into a frenzy building their networks, promoting themselves and/or their service/product/company, doing everything they can to look successful on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. They’re attending every event they can find (and posting about it, of course). They’re befriending the most famous and influential people they know, hoping to hitch themselves to a shooting star.
Never mind that they have just an ok product or service. Never mind that they’re a mediocre employee or boss. They are 100% committed to the philosophy that says, just hustle hard, do something epic or legendary, and you’ll make it big.
And nobody ever stops to think about WHY they’re doing it.
Here’s what I see from my “been there, done that” point of view. I see people chasing fame. I see people craving to be perceived as awesome. I see people who have been told if they’re not living an “epic” or “legendary” life, they’re missing out big time and not living the life they were meant to live.
So they hustle to achieve fame, or the perception of awesomeness, or what someone else would think is an epic or legendary life. And when they get it, they’re shocked to realize they are no happier than they were before, and sometimes far less. They’ve expended all that energy and are no more fulfilled, even though everything they post on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat gets a thousand likes. People, they talk to think they have an amazing life or career or business, but it still never feels like enough.
That’s why I’m going counter culture on this one.
Stop the hustle.
Stop trying to be famous.
Stop trying to make everything you work on, or participate in, seem epic or legendary.
Instead, just breathe. Take some time to explore what would feel truly significant to YOU. Let go of the lofty, legendary status that the world is pushing you to pursue. Status is not significance.
Let me repeat: STATUS IS NOT SIGNIFICANCE.
Instead of trying to “be legendary”, why not just try to be you? Why not spend your time and energy using your unique set of abilities, talents, and skills in ways that light you up, regardless of what anyone else thinks? Why not contribute to your job, business, family, and community in ways that truly make a difference, even if they don’t make you trend on Twitter?
I don’t know anyone who is truly epic or legendary who tries to be perceived that way. They simply live their most authentic self, doing stuff they love to do. When they do that, they end up contributing at their highest levels, helping the most people, and feeling incredibly fulfilled.
And wouldn’t you know it, the rest of the world sees that as pretty epic and legendary (which is not why to do it, but you get my point, right?).