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Friday
Apr032009

Success and Fame

Success and fame are two things that many strive for in a lifetime, but they are two entities that cannot be measured. By what yardstick do you measure them anyway? Can you measure success by money? I don’t think so. The brokers and bankers on Wall Street made a great deal of money, but I would hardly call them successful.

How do you measure fame? There are probably more people who know me as an ex-bicycle framebuilder, than when I was actually building frames in the 1980s. This is because of the Internet, and anyone can build a following with blogs and the social media. But is this fame, can I take it to the bank, and do I even need to take it to the bank in order to be successful in life?

I think I can safely say I was a successful framebuilder. I think one of the reasons for that is that I didn’t set out to be a “famous” framebuilder. In my youth I wanted to be a famous racing cyclist. When that didn’t happen, framebuilding was an offshoot of the bike racing.

I became a good framebuilder because I built a lot of frames, like any skill the more you practice the better you become. I didn’t want to be famous, I just wanted to make a lot of money. Back then, I believed success was money.

People strive for fame because they want to be noticed. It’s why teens dress in outrageous fashions. I’m not knocking it, I did exactly the same in my teen years. Without this drive there would be no artists, no music, no books, no movies.

Who would even stand up in front of others to perform in some way or other, if they were not saying, “Look at me, look at me, look at me?

So if I say, “Look at me,” I had better have something worthwhile to offer when people do look. Alternatively, if I don’t have anything worthwhile yet because I am only just starting out, (Everyone must start somewhere.) then at least I should recognize this and strive to be better.

The young and the inexperienced would actually be better off if they didn’t draw attention to themselves by dressing or behaving in an outrageous manner. They say, “Look at me,” and when people look there is nothing to see. Nothing substantial. Talent will always shine through in the end, and people will look because they want to.

I have come to realize that what drives me now is not any desire to be noticed, or famous, but to have a positive affect on the lives of others. I have been fortunate enough to build bikes that people still enjoy riding. I am fortunate that I am able to share the knowledge I have gained over the years.

When someone reads my book, or something I have written here, and they tell me it made them think, or they learned something, or they were entertained. That is a positive effect, it is all the success I need. I can’t measure it, but it is pretty big.

 

Reader Comments (6)

Dave's insights are worth reading. They speak volumes, and it would be great if the youth could hear and listen to the words of wisdom that Dave shared.

In my ministry I have spent a lot of time in cemeteries. Sometimes I wait till the family leaves and then I walk around looking at markers. Sometimes they scream volumes about those that lay beneath them. And sometimes they are silent.

When you read; "A loving mother and friend", or a "Great Father" or a "Just Man" or "Humble Man or Woman" or a "Godly Man or Women" then you can know that they finished their race well. There was something worth saying. A truth that needed to be proclaimed about the loved one now gone.

But now there is another extreme. The extreme where no one wants to pay for an extra line on the marker for there is nothing to say. How Sad. Example: John Doe born 1930 - died 2006. Other than the name, birth, and death dates, the only other thing is the dash between the dates. A dash, a minus sign. a negative.

To live ones life to love, and care for others will result in praise where money and fame often results in just a dash.

Love those around you while you can. One day they or you will be gone. Who wants to be remembered with only a dash.

Success and Fame only has meaning for those whose lives we touch. Live well, but serve greatly.

May the Love of God, the Grace of the Son, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Pastor Clint

April 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPastor Clint Stocktonn

I would certainly agree that Dave's insights are well worth reading and I would also agree that today's youth could benefit greatly if they could but hear them. I would go one step further though and say that it isn't just today's youth that could benefit. I know an awful lot of adults (myself included), who could benefit just as easily.

As my time on this circling ball increases, I continue to be lucky enough to enjoy good health. I'm increasingly aware of the need to give back and not, as Dave points out, for fame but to try to leave the place a little better than I found it - just as my parents did and just as the parents of my friends did. Maybe its an old Boy Scout theme that really stuck but, for whatever reason, we'd all be better off if more of us, regardless of age, stepped beyond ourselves for reasons other than fame and personal gain.

-- Zeke

April 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZeke Yount

Greatest compliment I can pay any blog - Dave is on my must visit list. Sorely missed when he was on hiatus, gladly wlecomed back. His humor is usually spot on. His historical insights give much needed perspective in a world where the moment is too often trampled by the future. The tech articles have given breadth to my understanding of our shared two wheeled obsession. How it works. Why it works.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSKYLAB

Nice blog Mrs Dave.

Now I am in the prcess of creating global bicyle blog. About lifestyle with bicycle. I think you have more experience in bicycle than I do so could you give me some tips from your lifestyle with bicycle? I will be very happy chappy

April 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRemigijus

Your pretty big yourself Dave, in terms of being a good man.
You give your knowledge, wisdom and humor freely.
I have just bought your book and will soon begin to read it.
I hope you will simply keep on doing what you do here
for a long time, your making a positive impact on a lot of folks.

April 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael G

Wise and well-observed as always.

September 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephen_mc
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