Who (or what) should we look up to?

Published on 9 November 2017 by Tomislav Rozman

The crucial moments

Browsing the LinkedIn feed today (and any other day) became a bitter-sweet experience for me. I admit I am full up to here (imagine my neck) of various motivational statements, pictures-of-someone-famous-with-smart-text.

A. Einstein said that ...

S. Jobs said that ...

R. Branson said that ...

Great leaders do ...

Don't quit ...

Tesla (FB, Google, Twitter, <insert > achieved exponential growth by ...

You can do it, you just have to ... (and other variations of YesWeCan!)

10 tips to become rich-and-famous ...

Sounds familiar?

I don't want to be dis-motivational, but consuming all previously mentioned motivational sugar for a longer period of time makes me sick. Neverending sharing of 'smart' thoughts of the handful who made it is creating the cloud of false hope.

Hats of to all great people who made to the top.


It is nothing wrong with looking at the stars.

We all want to believe if we incorporate the thoughts and advices of these wildly successful people and companies to our lives, we will become successful too.

But the hard reality is that 99.9% of us won't.

So, who (or what) should we look up to?

My suggestion: look up to thousands and millions of people around us who are doing their everyday grind to survive.

My experience is the following: I didn't survive because I read and integrated R. Branson (or any other famous leader) advices to my life, no matter how great they might be. They're simply not relevant to my context at the current moment.

I survived because

  • My mentor who stopped me and invited me to cooperation on the university hallway (I was a student back then in 1999), just because I greeted her on the street few days before.
  • The same friend who directed me to the right EU call (Lifelong learning) 8 years ago, which we have won.
  • Some years ago a friend mentioned me that using Google Ads would be worth to try out to reach for the customers, when we drank green tea in the almost empty cafeteria.
  • Another friend, whom I meet on the street and who mentioned that a bank X would be worth to try out to get a loan (previously I was rejected by 10 banks).
  • A partner-client who suggested a new SW tool to try out, which is now the core of our business.
  • An (at that time) unknown partner who invited our company to cooperation to Erasmus+ project without knowing me or my company.
  • ...

The list could go on and on. But you get the point.

Those were the crucial moments which I am grateful for and made all the difference, not the motivational memes.

P.S.: This is not a rant. Keep sharing what you like and what boosts your mood. At the same time, be open to these crucial moments (which do not look crucial at the moment when they happen).

Further reading