#18: Fortune, Freedom, Fame, Which Do You Want?
with Nicola Vetter & Peter Axtell
March 14, 2023 | 15 Minutes
On "Inside-Out Career Design" this week, hosts Nicola Vetter & Peter Axtell speak about
Fortune, freedom, or fame and which one you want. Fortune is what probably 90% of people think they want, yet freedom often wins out when people think more deeply. Fame is often misunderstood as what some actors, musicians, or celebrities have. There are all kinds of fame. You can be famous for always being on time, being an outstanding friend, and doing a mundane job with dignity. You can even be quietly famous. You can think of fortune, freedom, and fame as motivators. You can use some practical ideas from this video to motivate yourself for greater satisfaction and meaning in your life.
Some questions we discuss for you to reflect on
- What do you want most in your life, fame, freedom, or fortune?
- Has it always been that priority, or what has changed?
- If it’s fame, what kind of fame? And what does it mean to you? How does it show up in your life right now?
- If it’s freedom, what kind of freedom? And what does it mean to you? How does it show up in your life right now?
- If it’s fortune, what kind of fortune? And what does it mean to you? How does it show up in your life right now? And how much is enough?
- Who are the role models that exemplify your primary choice?
- Who are your heroes, and what qualities do you admire in them?
- How can you simplify your life?
- Are you renting extra space to store stuff you might never need again?
- Would your children or heirs be happy about the stuff you leave behind?
- What would you like to be known for at the end of your life?
- Who could you ask for help to bring fame, freedom, or fortune into your life?
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About the Inside-Out Career Design Podcast
This podcast is obsessed with answering a single question: Is it possible to create an authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling life you love while building a successful and rewarding career?
Join Nicola Vetter and Peter Axtell, co-founders of the WhatsNext.com Career Insights platform and creators of the groundbreaking MotivationFinder assessment, as they follow their obsession with answering this question by sharing their insights, discoveries, and life lessons and talking with career experts, leaders, spiritual guides, psychologists, data scientists, coaches -- anyone and everyone who might hold a strategy or answer to the age-old questions of “what’s next for me?” and “what should I do with my life?”
They seek to transform suffering into joy for millions of people stuck and confused in their lives and careers.
Get ready to be inspired, motivated, and above all, to connect deeply with who you are and what you are meant to do with the time you’ve been given.
Nicola Vetter 00:00
Yes, what kind of fame? Actor's fame, TikTok fame, intellectual fame, authors fame, musicians fame, thought leaders fame, local fame, international fame?
Peter Axtell 00:11
Welcome to Inside-Out Career Design. In this show, we're obsessed with answering a single question. Is it possible to create an authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling life you love while building a successful and rewarding career? My name is Peter Axtell, and I'm here with Nicola Vetter. We're co-founders of the WhatsNext.com CareerInsights platform, and creators of the groundbreaking MotivationFinder assessment. Join us as we seek to transform suffering into joy for millions of people stuck and confused in their lives and careers. We'll share our insights, discoveries, and life lessons and talk with career experts, leaders, spiritual guides, psychologists, data scientists, coaches, anyone who might hold a strategy or answer to the age-old questions of: "What's next for me?" and "What should I do with my life?" Get ready to be inspired, motivated, and above all, to connect deeply with who you are, and what you're meant to do with the time you've been given.
Peter Axtell 01:14
Are you trying to figure out what to do with your life, to figure out what to do with the precious time you've been given on this earth? Or to figure out what only you as a remarkable and unique individual can bring into this world? If you are, please join us for one of our live and completely free online workshops, where we cover different topics to help you figure out what to do with your life and career without wasting precious time, taking wild guesses, or risking it all. To save your spot in our next live and free workshop go to WhatsNext.com/workshops. We can't wait to see you there. Again, that's WhatsNext.com/workshops.
Nicola Vetter 02:07
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Inside-Out Career Design Podcast. I'm Nicola, and I'm here with Peter. And today, we'll talk about an interesting question. What do you want most in your life, fame, freedom, or fortune? It's interesting and fun, because it reveals something about you, and leads to deeper conversations, than the best recipes, politics, or the latest gossip from the office. Try it out when you are meeting with friends next time.
Peter Axtell 02:48
It's also another topic about motivation, one of our favorite interests. And there are connections to some of the 18 intrinsic motives that we reveal in our scientifically proven MotivationFinder self-assessment. If you haven't heard about that assessment yet, well check it out. We'll put the link in the show notes. We always joke that it's the best kept secret.
Nicola Vetter 03:12
Now, I remember back in Germany years ago, we had a team meeting. And we had an insightful conversation about this question of fame, freedom, or fortune.
Peter Axtell 03:25
Oh, yes, I remember too. It immediately triggered all kinds of responses in me. First was, it took me all the way back to my 20s when I lived in London, playing on stages as a professional musician.
Nicola Vetter 03:39
And I watched myself answering in a superficial way at first, but then we had a deep discussion about what each word really meant to us.
Peter Axtell 03:52
So sit back, relax and ask yourself, which do you want most fame, freedom or fortune? Think and feel which one might motivate you the most and know that it might not be what you need the most at this stage of your life.
Nicola Vetter 04:11
So perhaps you might say I want it all. Understandable. And they are linked or intertwined in a way. But if you think about it, you're likely to have an instant attraction to one of the three. That's how it was for all three of us at our team meeting. We'll take this to a practical level in a sec. Something you can use. But first, let's see how to think about each word.
Peter Axtell 04:44
Let's start with fame. Why fame?
Nicola Vetter 04:48
Yes. What kind of fame? Actor's fame, TikTok fame, intellectual fame, authors fame, musicians fame, thought leaders fame, local fame, international fame?
Peter Axtell 05:01
You know, many kinds of fame are fragile. One day you might be on top, and the next day on the bottom, fame that's completely dependent on what others think is fragile. So I went to high school with a guy named Vince Wenick. I remember growing up, he was always inside, his mom was making him practice playing the piano, playing the piano while we were out playing. We used to say, oh, poor Vince, he has to practice his piano. Well, years later, he moved to the Bay Area, and a band asked him to be the piano player in their band. Well, the band turned out to be the Grateful Dead. So Vince went from being a pretty well-known Bay Area keyboardist to being in a superstar internationally known band overnight. Couple years later, the leader of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia died. And everything kind of fell apart after that. Well, Vince, he was so crushed, he never recovered from being a star, to not be in a star. Sad stuff. So it's a slippery slope that you can get into if it's for the wrong reasons. And we've seen that with many celebrities wanting fame, but not being able to live with their fame.
Nicola Vetter 06:25
How about being famous for generosity, for being humble, enjoying a fine reputation for ethics, honesty, for keeping your word? You might not think of Fame in that context. But it can be what you're admired for. One of our dear teachers, John Roadhouse, has a lifelong reputation for being on time, always showing up, being highly ethical, and full of wisdom. But 99.999% of the people in this world have no idea who he is.
Peter Axtell 07:04
I must confess that at that meeting in Germany years ago, I said, fame. And then I found myself qualifying and trying to look humble, trying to downplay it. And as we talked more, I realized that the truth was, I wanted fame. And I've had a few near misses to fame as a former professional musician, but I was clear about the kind of fame that I want. I want to be fully self-expressed. I want people to read what I write and watch the videos we create. I want to be known for being an excellent teacher, coach, and an ethical person.
Nicola Vetter 07:45
For me, it's freedom first, no question. I remember that team meeting was at a time when I was still very much involved in taking care of my mom, trying to juggle so many balls in the air, and not really having the freedom to do what I longed to do. I've always been a free spirit, meaning I want to be the master of my own ship. And what freedom means to me is not relying on anyone, which is not possible in today's interconnected world. But the feeling that I can make it if everything else, around me falls apart is super important to me. So the freedom to try things, crazy things, like living in a tent in the desert of Arizona for a month, or designing a museum in total darkness, or standing up against the big BAYER corporation to not putting a deadly CO pipeline into the ground in the most densely populated area in my home country, Germany. And the freedom to travel and explore new cultures. Every new country I visit, I make sure to do three things. Find a local bar, go to the movies, even if I don't understand the language, and visit a cemetery.
Peter Axtell 09:20
I have a question here. I just want to know, what is the order that you do those three things? Do you go to the bar, and then you go to the movies, and then you visit the cemetery?
Nicola Vetter 09:33
You mean do I need to get blasted before I do the other things?
Peter Axtell 09:38
Nicola Vetter 09:39
I could tell you many stories here. And yes, you're right, if you say, but you need money for that. Which brings us to the third word, fortune.
Peter Axtell 09:54
So let's talk about fortune. It's interesting to distinguish here between different kinds of fortune. And here's how we use that word these days, there's prosperity that you attain partly through luck and being in the right place at the right time. And there's destiny or fate, if you go to a fortune teller to discover what will happen to you in the future, and by looking at the lines in the palm of your hands, or using a special set of cards, and of course, the set of good or bad events that happens to you that have an effect on your life. That's not what we're talking about here. What we're talking about in this context is financial abundance, having a large amount of money or property at your disposal, material possessions, which is also connected with the motive of material security in our MotivationFinder self-assessment.
Nicola Vetter 10:48
I want to make this practical. Here are some ideas on how you might bring fame, freedom, or fortune into your life. Who are the role models that exemplify your primary choice? Who are your heroes? Biographies are a great way to learn. And what are the qualities that you admire? Remember, copying doesn't work. But you can learn from the things they have tried.
Peter Axtell 11:21
Who could you ask for help to bring fame, freedom, or fortune into your life?
Nicola Vetter 11:28
If fortune is your thing, what is the number? What would be enough? The thing about fortune is it's highly addictive, and certain people can never have enough and then a fortune can easily become your prison.
Peter Axtell 11:46
Do you think fortune could buy you freedom? Yes and no. There's a poignant story about two authors, Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut. They're at a party thrown by a billionaire. And Vonnegut says, Joe, how does that make you feel that this billionaire makes more money in a day than your best-selling book? And Heller answers, I have something he'll never have. Vonnegut says, what on earth could that possibly be? And Heller answers, the knowledge that I've got enough.
Nicola Vetter 12:24
That's beautiful. Now if freedom is your thing, you could ask, how can I simplify my life? What can I sell or get rid of? Can I live with less and have more time? After my mom died, I inherited a whole bunch of stuff that turned out to be more of a burden than a joy. I've now located many different ways to bit by bit, get rid of stuff, donate it, or sell it, and only keep what truly holds meaning for me. Every time something leaves the house, I feel lighter and that makes me happy. At the end of life, it's the experiences that count. Not the stuff lying around in the house that you might not want to leave for fear of a robbery. Just think about it. When I'll leave this earth, I don't want anybody to waste their precious time to shuffle my stuff around, stuff that might not bring them joy. How many of you are even renting extra space to store stuff you might never need again?
Peter Axtell 13:43
Guilty as charged. Okay not now, but years ago in California I had a storage unit. I must have had that thing for five or six years. I think I paid $1200 a year for that storage unit. Okay, but no more. And if it's fame, you could ask yourself, at the end of my life, what would I like to be known for? A good reputation is a wonderful thing to be famous for. Being a kind and generous person is worthy of fame. Being a good husband, wife or friend is another one. What can you think of?
Nicola Vetter 14:18
If you only took away one idea from today's episode, think about what motivates you most fame, freedom or fortune? It's important to be clear about it because it's what motivates you to get up in the morning and try to make that happen. And of course, there are many more motivators, but start with these three simple ones, and see if you can have that conversation at your next dinner party. It's fun.
Peter Axtell 14:54
Thanks so much for joining us here today. For show notes go to WhatsNext.com/18, where we share links and other relevant information.
Nicola Vetter 15:06
And if you like what you've heard, share it with someone you care about. And subscribe, rate, and review our Inside-Out Career Design podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, so you'll never miss an episode. Thanks so much for joining us here today. We'll see you next week for another episode. Same time, same place.