And the Mindset You Need to Escape It.
“When we accept the labels placed on us by ourselves and others, we then restrict and limit ourselves based on those labels. Break free from them and reclaim your unlimited potential to be your amazing self.”
― Nanette Mathews
Sean “Diddy” Combs. George Clooney. David Beckham. The Rock. These are just a few of the worldwide celebrities who have thrown their hat into the alcohol game. When you consider all the money that is at stake in the $255 plus billion dollar industry, it seems like a smart business move for any celebrity.
And while very few would argue that the constant stream of celebrity endorsements pushing a particular vodka or bourbon doesn’t have an effect on the masses, I don’t think most celebrities are aware of the unknown way they ironically hold so many people back from being successful.
Their social media.
It is through these various platforms, by weekly (if not daily) posting examples of their successes during the day, along with their exploits during the night, that they encourage others to “live their best life,” “not miss out”, and “do it all.”
Much of these exploits involve alcohol and drinking to their heart’s desire. Work hard / play hard, right? Isn’t that the American dream?
And while these posts and images on social media are a source for inspiration for some, it actually does more harm than good to the masses if you look at the effect it has on people in totality.
HOW THIS HURTS
Onthe surface, perhaps their posts seem like they would be good for others. We all have been told that we should have role models in life and if we aspire to have a certain level of success, why not choose those who are living the life of which we would dream.
What we don’t realize, however, is that using these individuals as a sign of the type of lives we should be living is slowly setting us up for failure and keeping us locked in a box that doesn’t allow us to reach our full potential.
As we look at the lives of celebrities, we sometimes say to ourselves, “If they can have it ALL, then there is no reason that we shouldn’t be able to have it ALL as well.”
So, when these individuals post pictures living a life of excitement and grandeur with alcohol, we automatically think that we should be able to emulate this.
If they are able to do whatever they need to do during the day and then continue to “live it up” at night and STILL drink, then we should also be able to do that with our lives and still be successful.
The causes us to make a major mistake of not understanding how they got where they are in life. What we don’t get is that for many of these people, there was a unique set of circumstances that allowed them to be successful that we don’t currently have.
In Malcolm’s Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he talks about a number of famous people and how it was a combination of circumstances and luck that put many into the situation that allowed them to be successful.
Using Bill Gates as an example, he argues if Bill Gates were not born into a wealthy family and lived only a few blocks from the University of Washington, in which he had access to one of only a handful of supercomputers in the world, the chances of him becoming a great coder at a young age, and, subsequently, one of the world’s richest human beings is not as likely.
Just like Bill Gates, many celebrities were born into a certain set of circumstances that allowed them to be successful. I would hypothesize that many that we see living lives of grandeur and excitement with alcohol possibly fall into one of three categories:
A. They learned their skill at a young age, while their mind was very much in the development stage (10–25 years old) and not as affected by alcohol’s impairment effects.
B. They were either mostly abstinent (rarely drank) or started drinking later in life AFTER they achieved their level of success, or
C. They just fall into that special category of people who can drink as much as they want, get little sleep, and still be close to 100% the next day (Diddy is the first person that comes to mind when I think about this).
The problem with social media is that it makes most people think they fall into category C, but the reality is that only a very small group of people are born with the ability to drink large amounts of alcohol and have a level of drive and motivation to be highly successful.
Most people are affected by all the numerous negative learning impairments caused by alcohol, thus never allowing themselves to reach their true full potential.
This group of people falls into a different category instead.
Roughly about 70.1percent of the population drinks, while about 5.8 percent would consider themselves as hardcore alcoholics. This leaves a whopping 64.3 percent of people who drink but probably don’t consider themselves as having a major problem with alcohol.
Of these 64.3 percent, I’m sure the majority of them feel they have drinking under control, and there are no issues. As shared above, these individuals would probably put themselves in category C, in which they feel they can drink all they want and still have the success they desire, as long as they work hard enough.
And while it may be true some of these people may not be held back by drinking, I would guess that the majority of them would fall into a group that I call “The “Governed.”
The Governed refers to a group of individuals that fall between “not affected” and “lives completely destroyed” as it relates to the effects of alcohol. These people often feel they don’t have a problem with alcohol but yet they have not achieved the level of success they want to in life or are not living the life of true happiness that they desire.
I derived the name from the word “governor,” a device that is used on vehicles with speed restrictions for government-regulated reasons. This ensures that the vehicle never reaches above a certain speed limit.
In life, “The Governed” put a ceiling on themselves because they refuse to look at alcohol as being a culprit for their lack fo success. They continue to look at the lives of others (on and off social media) and think, “If they can do it, then I can do it,” failing to recognize how much further they have the ability to truly excel if they would give this one thing up.
HOW TO TAKE CONTROL
So how do you solve this?
Stop comparing yourself to others on social media.
Stop comparing yourself to others…period.
If others have been able to achieve a level of success and still drink copious amounts of alcohol, then good for them.
This isn’t about them. It’s about YOU.
If you are not satisfied with where you are in life, then this is for YOU.
If you have worked and struggled to attain a certain level of success that you have not yet realized, then this is for YOU.
If you feel you have sacrificed and given what you would deem as your best effort, and you are still not happy with where you are, then this is for YOU.
It’s time to stop comparing yourself to others.
Instead, compare yourself today to the person you desire to be in the future and understand that if you are going to get there, the chances of you doing so with alcohol are not very good.
You have tried to be successful with alcohol up to this point.
Isn’t it time you take the governor off yourself and see if you can be successful without it?