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“Work for a cause, not for applause. Live to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noted, just make your absence felt.”
It’s a human need to feel loved, valued, and appreciated. Our self-esteem soars whenever we gain recognition, driving us to work harder and be even more recognized. Yet lurking beneath this need is the tendency to be a recognition addict, a person who does things for the hunger of being noticed. Although it may be beneficial in the workplace, it could easily turn us into insincere, attention-hungry individuals who are willing to cheat or lie just to feel special.
This quote is a call to focus on a higher purpose in life than the desire for recognition or fame. It suggests that true fulfillment and satisfaction come from working towards a cause that is greater than oneself, rather than seeking applause or validation from others. The quote encourages us to live to express ourselves and our values, rather than to impress others with our accomplishments or status.
One of the key messages in this quote is the idea of having a higher reason to live than personal gratification. When we work towards a cause that is greater than ourselves, we find a sense of purpose and meaning that is deeper and more fulfilling than the fleeting recognition or applause of others. This can be something like fighting for a cause, volunteering for a charity, or working to make a positive impact on the world. When we work for a cause, we are not only making a difference in the world, but also in ourselves.
Another aspect of the quote is the idea of the “fame trap”. The fame trap refers to the idea that many people are driven by the desire to be recognized and admired by others, and that the craving for the “drug” of applause can become a source of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. People who fall into the fame trap are often preoccupied with their image and reputation, and this can lead to a sense of emptiness and unfulfillment. This quote encourages us to avoid the fame trap and to focus on what truly matters, which is self-expression and making a positive impact on the world.
Lastly, the quote highlights the importance of hard work. It suggests that true success and fulfillment come from putting in the effort and dedication required to make a real difference. The quote encourages us to focus on our work, not on the recognition or applause that might come with it. Hard work, dedication and the contribution of value are what makes our absence felt.
In his compelling article “We Must Stop Being Recognition Addicts in the Workplace,” Glenn Llopis writes about the danger of seeking recognition instead of respect in the workplace. “The great difference between the recognized man and the respected man is the difference of the head and heart. The recognized man appeals to the head where things are easily forgotten. The respected man captivates the heart. And the heart does not forget.”
Recognition is not synonymous to respect. While an employer can gain recognition for his performance, it doesn’t necessarily suggest that people like working with him. In a workplace, there’ll be people who insist to do things their way in order to be recognized solely for a job well done. We may succeed on our own but it won’t be as rewarding as sharing it with other people. And when we do fail, we fail without a comrade to have beer with.
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