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To be Somebody and yet a Nobody

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

A sure sign of megalomania and approaching insanity is to believe that one's work is so important that the world will stop functioning without us.

Once at the peak of my success when my company had annual sales of more than US$ 140 million, and thousands of employees, I too had the same misconception about myself.

Fortunately, now I am no longer burdened by such foolish notions, learning that the world existed quite well before I arrived and will continue to do so beautifully when I am gone.

This realisation has humbled me. Liberated, I now relish life.

I am no exception. It is natural that people possessing any quantum of meaningful influence, power, authority, status or wealth will have delusions of being indispensable and mindless of their mortality.

I like to observe people and their expressions in all sorts of social settings, particularly when they believe they are not under scrutiny, for that is when their mask slips and we get a glimpse of their true nature.

I have often wondered why do people with wealth, power, authority, etc. look so

glum. They seem to be carrying the weight of the world upon their shoulders, believing, 'Heavy is the head that wears the crown'.

We humans as social animals intrinsically cannot exist outside of society. Unfortunately society predominantly judges and ranks us only by what we possess.

The question then is, should we live as per our own choices or by the dictates of others even if it may seem burdensome, irrational and unnecessary to us?

For ourselves we want to be happy, for the sake of society we have to be successful. However happiness and success appear diametrically opposite, but they need not be. Why this is so, I shall explain in my book.

One can be successful and yet happy, the secret is to be socially a 'somebody' with possessions, significant influence and or power and yet personally be a 'nobody'. To have everything and yet nothing for one is not attached to one's possession.

Well how to become a nobody?

There can be several types of nobodies.

  1. One, who has nothing. A nobody without either material or spiritual substance is a vassal, a slave.

  2. Another type of nobody is the one with no material substance but possessing spiritual substance is a Saint, Rishi or Guru.

  3. Then there is the person who is a somebody outside and somebody inside. He is arrogant and vain and this makes him a nobody clinging to illusions.

  4. A fourth type of nobody is the one who possesses resources, substance, authority, etc. However he or she simply is not attached to whatever traits and assets that they may possess. They are somebodies with power and influence, wealth etc. in the eyes of society but personally for themselves they recognise that in the ultimate they are mortal nobodies.


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Dear GSP, very well written. You have gift of getting into the depth of any subject and it comes out in the form of blogs. I always enjoy them . BVJ/30 April 2023

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