Chances are you've heard someone confidently assert that success is intimately connected to fame. On the surface this makes perfect sense, as the two seem inextricably linked.
After all, how can you be successful if you've never been recognized for your achievements? And many people do dream of having their names projected on billboards, splashed across the internet and streamed on television.
But I see things differently.
Equating success with fame obscures the bigger picture. It's a mindset that conflates the hunt for glory with the substance of a person's achievements.
I've never sought attention or notoriety. Yet that doesn't mean I don't work hard, and it certainly doesn't mean that I don't want to feel appreciated. Though we all want to feel valued for what we do, that desire manifests itself in different ways for different people.
Perhaps it's the writer in me, but I prefer a more subdued form of glory. I like to be the coach, not the player; the photographer, not the model; the roadie, not the rock star. And there's nothing wrong with that.
We're the people who make the glitz and glamor happen. We're the ones who make big productions and major sporting events possible. Our imprint is everywhere — you just have to know where to look to find it.
Here are five reasons why I'd rather be behind the scenes than in the spotlight.
Because I don't need applause to feel accomplished.
I don't equate being in the spotlight with achieving success, and I don't need the roar of a crowd to validate my accomplishments.
There is nothing wrong with adoring attention; it just isn't my style. I derive the most satisfaction from completing a project and knowing that I worked hard to make it happen. The only person I aim to please is myself. If I've done that, I've accomplished what I set out to do.
Because I can't feel inspired when I'm too focused on the crowd in front of me.
Fame comes with so much pressure. And while that is undoubtedly exhilarating for some people, it's emotionally draining for me.
I don't do my best work when I'm under pressure and striving to meet impossible expectations. I can't focus on creating something that is memorable and resonates with people when I'm under a microscope. It's too distracting.
I'd rather be behind the scenes, making my art and living my truth.
Because I feel fulfilled when I collaborate with others to make something great.
I thrive when I'm a part of a team that is going all-out to do something that won't soon be forgotten. I neither need nor want my name plastered all over the final product. When I reflect on my professional and personal life, it's the memories I've made working with people I love and respect that mean the most to me.
Because I know where I've left my mark, even if it's not illuminated by lights.
While some might argue that you need a byline, a public platform or a massive fan base to make things happen, I know that there are other ways to have a lasting impact.
Sure, it must be exhilarating when you're the lead singer of a band and thousands of fans are wildly applauding your latest performance. But there's an equally enthralling and rewarding feeling that comes from knowing that you wrote the lyrics to that hit song or designed the stage that is captivating the crowd's attention.
You played an intimate role in creating that experience, and that is all the satisfaction you need.
Because I may be an unsung hero, but I know I'm a hero nonetheless.
I might not be showered in praise and inundated with lavish gifts at work every day, but those things don't mean much to me anyway.
I don't feel a rush of adrenaline from seeing my name in lights, and I've never dreamed of being a headliner on a tour. Yet I know how important my contributions are, even if my name will never be immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
And you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.