I made the invite list to a high-profile event recently. One of those that make you have a chat with yourself just to relax and be comfortable in your skin. And that’s exactly what I did. Perceptions and positions of people can be more intimidating than the people themselves. I told Lucas that he also qualified to have been invited to this gig. Wearing that self-assurance with happy socks did the trick, although the imposter syndrome still lingered around. Do the best of us suffer this condition I wonder?

While at this event I noticed that the most prominent individuals hardly had time for themselves. It was hard to even have a private conversation with someone else. The minute they appeared to socialise people drifted towards them. Either it was someone in the crowd trying to get their moment of fame, or it was a hawk-eyed handler at his job ensuring the safety and comfort of the mkubwas is not compromised. The cameramen seemed to have a similar brief. They were just doing their job.

My lingering thought was of the VIPs themselves. Did they wish to be left alone and just mingle like everyone else out of the spotlight? or did they prefer life on stage with the lights following them everywhere they went? Being popular is good and most of us go to great lengths to be celebs of one kind or another. But iko shida. Popularity has no loyalty. We see it when you’ve done something major then it soon disappears when someone else makes bigger news. I remember when Kiptum, the Kenyan marathoner recently broke Eliud Kipchoges’s world record at the Berlin marathon. I came across a thread on social media castigating Eliud for his silence. The expectation of many was that he would publicly congratulate Kiptum. The insinuation here was that Eliud had caught feelings. Had he?

While I wouldn’t know Eliud’s position on Kiptum’s win, I tend to think he was genuinely happy for his fellow countryman lifting Kenya’s flag in Berlin. I say that because he comes across as someone who just focused on pushing himself and the fame caught him by surprise. That view is from what he says and does. It’s mostly about challenging us to greatness using the movie that has become his life reminding us that no human is limited. This reminds me of a webinar I attended on growing one’s coaching profession. The speaker said that while it is good to have a sponsor who will say your name at the table of opportunity, when you are so good at what you do then the light and power will shift to you. it’s a case here of shining vs striving.

When we work on self-improvement and not popularity then fame may find us along the way because we are competing with ourselves. But if it doesn’t there will be no love lost because we were not after it in the first place. Being unpopular (not known) has its advantages. First, it helps us live a quiet life and we can get away with some errors and recover without making headline news.

Having increased freedom is a benefit of being unpopular. Sunny Bindra says that “the antidote to poisonous popularity is authenticity – the freedom to be who you are”. Once that settled in at the posh event I attended I was ok and even happy being me.  It was easier to interact from the confidence of who I am and that felt good. Authenticity is like a good perfume folks. it draws people to you and that enriches our lives.

The disclaimer on this though is neither should we seek to be unpopular. And that’s different from not being liked by some people. Of course, if we want everyone to like us then we should be selling ice cream. Some folks will just not like us however much we try, and that’s okay. We know of noble people who helped many lives but were still taken out by the same people they helped. Jesus for instance was nailed on the cross for our iniquity.

The Good Book advises us to make it our ambition to live a quiet life, work with our hands, and as far as it depends on us be at peace with everyone. If we can follow this counsel and still be unpopular with some folks then we weren’t meant to be pals from the onset. At the end of our wonderful event, I was convinced that even popular folks long for the ordinary life where they are just liked for who they are not what they are or have.

May we seek to become popular to ourselves by doing good and living authentically. That way we become our own cheerleaders. And soon that vibe will start overflowing to other people who will hopefully be encouraged to live more authentically and less popularly.


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3 thoughts on “Be Unpopular.”

  1. David Kimani says:

    Very sound advice. Thank you Lucas.

  2. Mitchelle says:

    On living authentically…Be me…
    Asante Lucas

  3. Author Joyce says:

    Wow! hearing it from Mr popular, hehe

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