You can learn more about an individuals personal values as they become more successful. Someone who has a strong moral code, and kind heart, will only become a better person with fame and money, while someone else will become destructive with the same level of success. My mentor, Marcus Buckingham, always says “people don’t change, they become more of who they already are” and I believe that wholeheartedly. Since I was raised by two loving parents who instilled positive values in me from my work ethic to treating others with respect, you will only see more of that in me in the future. While I’m not perfect, as you get to know me personally, you will witness my generosity and sincerity. I believe that your true self will always surface despite hardships and frustrations because it simply isn’t sustainable to pretend your someone else. At some point, we all have to grapple with who we are and it’s your choice when you make that decision.
A few months ago, I interviewed a famous actor and he was incredibly arrogant and cocky on the phone. If you see him on TV, he plays a the same character as he does in real life yet he has no self-awareness that they are one in the same. He didn’t magically become an egomaniac and jerk because of his celebrity – he already had those qualities, which became more visible due to his success. The more attention he receives, and the more money he accumulates, the more he will belittle and isolate himself – which doesn’t go unnoticed. I, for one, wouldn’t interview him again because I felt undermined on the phone and no one wants to feel that way even if it’s someone you look up to.
Now that we have made our personal lives public on the Internet, who we are is revealed by what we publish. Each status update shines light on our values, beliefs and activities that create an image to the world. As you accumulate more friends, followers and connections, you may try to conceal or reveal more based on our comfort level. I have tended to hold back more, while famous people like Amy Schumer will tell all. You can tell how authentic someone is by what they reveal about themselves and even more so when you have a one-on-one interaction with them. Watch how they treat waiters and janitors to get a better sense of their behaviors and values. Life isn’t easy so if they only show you the positive, then they are hiding the negative.
In saying all of this, I believe that you should focus on bettering yourself before you pursue wealth so that you are able to handle it and support others in a positive way once you “make it”. If you decide to put off working on yourself and invest your time in advancing your career, you will carry the same bad habits and attitudes that will prevent you from reaching your full potential.