Who wants to be a celebrity? I think deep down, we all do. We all yearn to be celebrated. We all yearn to attain the peak of our various professions. This is a very natural desire in all of us. What we however aren’t aware of, is the personal and relational price we have to pay for staying at the top of our game. Hardly does a week go by, without the news telling us about another celebrity break-up. These range from high profile divorces to clandestine sexual affairs to even violent physical abuses.
Because it is my earnest expectation that all who read me will someday be masters of their field, I want to give my personal opinions as to why such high profile love failures are so common in our day.
POOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE. Most celebrities work pretty hard to attain and maintain the peak of their professions. What eludes them is the fact that it will take similar hard work to make their love lives work. They often are prone to neglecting their personal relationships, while hoping that their love lives will work out automatically. One celebrity evangelist had been on the road so much, that when his young daughter was brought to him, he couldn’t recognize his own child, but was asking the custodian, who the cute little girl belonged to. That is extreme. In the earlier years of my marriage, as the tempo of my career began to build up, I realized that the only things we find time to do, are the things we schedule. So I scheduled Monday as my family day, and I have 90% of the time refused to yield that day to any professional pressure. It has made a huge difference in our marriage. Celebrities must understand that whatever they don’t feed and nurture will die. They must seek to strike a balance in the allocation of resources like time, energy, attention, and finance, between their personal lives and their professional lives. Only then will they have enough escape velocity to overcome the personal gravitational effects of being a celebrity.
CONFUSING PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ROLES. It is usual for celebrities to automatically expect to be treated as authorities by those in their personal sphere. The wife who is a leading entertainment C.E.O can begin to expect her husband to treat her like the C.E.O of their family. The multinational company’s managing director can begin to apply the principles of six sigma, re-engineering and lean management to his spouse. The megachurch pastor can begin to treat his family members with the ecclesiastical authority of his pastorate. The Armed force’s general can begin to apply the high handed principles of command and control to his wife and family members as he insists that they all obey before complaining. The bottom line is that the better we are at what we do, the less we expect to be questioned or challenged because we naturally expect to have our way. When this professional reverence is not duplicated in our personal lives, all hell breaks loose. What has proven to be effective on a personal level for most celebrities is to treat our professional accolades and accomplishments as caps and garments that we put on at work, and put off when we are at home. Without this humility and flexibility, our personal relationships will fail.
MAKING OR FAILING TO MAKE STATUS-ORIENTED LOVE CHOICES. The first problem is when a celebrity to be, doesn’t have an idea of the scope and stature of their assignment in life. Those who choose a partner without taking into consideration the demands and complexities of their future roles are likely to have a relationship crisis at the top. On the other hand, the present celebrities who choose a person for their current status and not their person are also likely to have trouble. A person that is good for your status might not be good for your person. The key is balance, choosing a partner that suits your person, as well as the magnitude of your success. Those who do so will be rewarded will levels of relational stability unknown to celebrities.
We aren’t saying that celebrities can’t combine public success and personal success. We are simply saying it is going to take hard work, perhaps even harder dimensions of work than what it took them to get to the top of their fields. This perhaps, is why many celebrities settle for parochial success. I am convinced that those who subscribe to the practices recommended above will enjoy the best of the two worlds.
THE GREATEST IS LOVE