Hogging for attention is a failing proposition
Here’s how to flip the script
That party where you were its lifeblood and heartbeat; that tiktok video which went viral; that tweet you made that was retweeted and retweeted. All these are examples of short term fame. All these feel good for a little while and are good experiences to have, but not without costs. And ultimately, they are neither important nor worth what you pay in terms of life and happiness.
Picture a show with multiple actors on stage. The spotlight keeps moving from actor to actor based only on their importance at that particular time during the show.
One lesson to learn from this is that the spotlight doesn’t stay on one person. Not in a play with multiple actors, as is the case in life. One way to stay in the spotlight is to do the important things, those worthy of the audience’s attention.
But this is a continuously failing strategy.
And we don’t need to do this.
Let’s flip the script.
If you look at the whole metaphor of actors, spotlights and audiences, you will see that the audience always sees the spotlight.
“Be the flame, not the moth” — Giacomo Casanova
So how do you become the spotlight?
1. You don’t seek attention. You give it.
Everybody wants the spotlight on them. Be the person whose attention everybody wants.
The key to this is to not give attention equally and indifferently. But when you do give it, make the target of your attention feel like the center of the world.
This is not hard to do. When in a group, for example, look at who is truly adding most value at any time and cast your visible and vocal support to them.
2. A spotlight should be on narrow beam
If your attention is like a wide beam that lights up half the stage, then it is not really a spot light anymore, is it?
Your attention should be given only to those worthy of it.
3. A spotlight is always on.
You should always be giving your attention to someone or something.
Not only is this a good way to not fall back into the practice of seeking attention, but it is also a good way to find attention-worthy pursuits when nothing and no one around you is worthy of your light.
4. A spotlight should be bright
Being a spotlight works only if you cast a bright light. Your light should make its target glow. Your attention should feel good to its receiver.
When done right, you will have the whole room vying for your attention, not the other way around.
5. A spotlight doesn’t need a spotlight
In other words, when others give you praise, thank them politely, and gently turn the praise and attention back towards them, away from yourself.
When you do all the above steps right, you will become a man or woman of value rather than popularity. And people of value don’t make a big deal of themselves.
So be the light, cast the light, and burn, burn burn bright.