Popularity is a social phenomenon that dictates who or what is best liked through peer influence. Since popularity is judged in a social context, targets can quickly skyrocket or plummet, based solely on how they are perceived by others at any given point in time.
With the ever-present role of social media in our lives, it's easy to see how quickly popularity comes and goes. Being popular can surely give you a high, and make you feel important, loved or wanted, but the hard truth is that it won't last. You may get a few months of Instagram fame until the next, hotter, younger thing comes around and steals your thunder.
Think back to your high school days, when the jocks and cheerleaders were the most desirable and admirable people we knew. In just a few years, those that were crowned Prom King and Queen are now overweight and unsuccessful.
Being popular comes with a lot of pressure. If you're not producing or you make one wrong move, you're done. You fall from grace. Look at athletes like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong or celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes. When all eyes are on you, there's very little room for error. Constantly worrying about what others think is draining. You always have to say the right things, perform flawlessly, look your best and act perfectly.
Instead of focusing on being popular, focus on how you want to be remembered in life. Chances are, you are following in the footsteps of others who have gone before you because they left a legacy for you.
There are literally thousands of men and women who lived in a way that affects our lives every day. Think Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon and my personal favorite Steve Jobs. The list can go on and on.
There are people who have changed the world for good, people who have opened up new worlds for millions of others, people who have spurred others on to new heights. There are parents who have blessed their children with greatness and other parents who have ruined their children's fragile minds and hearts.
How we live our lives is vital in what kind of legacy we will leave. Take a look at how you live, think about the major areas of your life where you can and should leave a lasting legacy. What we do affects others. Our lives have the power to create good or evil. It is important that we choose to do good.
Building a legacy keeps us focused on the big picture. It keeps us focused on the long term and gives us values that we can judge our actions by. When we are acting based on selfishness, or popularity, we are in the "small picture" — we are only thinking of the "right now." Think about what you want to be remembered for and start living in a way that will reflect that long after you are gone.
Those who will come after us will have only what we leave them. We are representatives of this world, and we all have a duty to leave the world better than we found it, no matter how trivial our part seems. We should all accept the responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. Most won't, but the Elite will.
Jenn Scalia | Elite.
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