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What if you were invisible?

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What if, no matter the effort, you were never appreciated– for anything.

Imagine you’d never get famous, never get known, for anything you’d ever do. What if no one saw your work– your friends, maybe, but no one else. You’d never get noticed, never achieve any acclaim, ever. Terrible, maybe? Expected, perhaps?

But what if you knew in advance?

If nothing you did would get you known, you wouldn’t chase fame or attention, because you’d know you’d never get it. The work itself would get a lot more important to you. You’d focus on the intrinsic value a lot more– whether you enjoyed it, whether it made your friends and family happy, and so on.

What else would happen?

Is it possible that the work itself would actually get better? Would the enjoyment you got from your work start giving you more incentive to work harder, longer hours, with more attention to what matters? Would your invisible work become incredible?

Or would you stop working altogether? What kind of person are you?

Try out this thought experiment. Write a post for me on your blog saying what would happen if you were invisible, if there were no media whatsoever, nor word of mouth, to get you any attention, forever.

Remember, no attention means no judgement, either.

* Filed by at 1:08 pm under experiments


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12 Responses to “What if you were invisible?”

  1. aleksandre Says:

    Wow, I’ve never thought about it this way.

    And now that I am thinking about it (for last 10 minutes) I like it more and more. I’ll try to throw some cons in though, for better results 🙂

    Thanks for thought material Julien.

  2. Anon Says:

    So, which are you?

  3. Social Girl Says:

    Oddly enough, I think that when no one knows who is responsible for work, then the author is free to be themselves. Without fear of judgment, you can be anyone, create anything, and chances are you’ll create something amazing.

    Last October, I started a sort of “happy thoughts” blog that I keep 99.9% separate from my “claimed” blogs. I don’t share it with anyone in my “real” life, because it’s just for me and I can be as corny as I want. I know that it’s really silly, at first. However, I get so many genuine responses from my little compilation of hope.

    You know what they say, “You are who you are the most when no one is watching.”

  4. Joe Says:

    I’ve recently asked myself similar questions, I started up another band after my old one broke up and have just started another short story, I’ve gone into these projects not expecting recognition, but they’re still ambitious projects, the only pressure I feel at the moment is to work to a certain standard and try and make something excellent. A part of me would still want to receive attention though, it’s almost impossible for me not to crave it. I’m not sure what this says about me though…

  5. Ben Aldern Says:

    All I hope for is that those I work with know me and my capabilities well enough to respect me and that my work is free to spread. The thing is, I’m so close to the work I would want to be noticed for that it’s the same thing if someone complements me or the work. The work is a part of me. As long as my work can spread, I’m fine with being invisible. Or am I not invisible at that point? What do you think?

  6. Ricardo Nunez Says:

    Before I read the end of the post,and you had asked to write it, I was already thinking in doing a related article. Is a interesting question to ask.

  7. Jana Says:

    My thoughts aren’t well developed enough to write a blog post on this.

    Things I care about I’ll continue to do well at. Things I don’t will slide. How much and what will depend on the person and their internal drive/what they intrinsically value.

    I think that the freedom that comes when people are no longer looking over your shoulder will result in people spending more time trying new things, playing, and experimenting. It would drive innovation and new skill sets.

  8. John McLachlan Says:

    I will write a blog post on this later this week. It’s a great question.

    The point I will make is that being invisible is like being a true artist. In my view, true artists do not do their art for anyone except themselves so being invisible is not an issue for these rare individuals. Humans have egos however (and the need to earn money), so we DO want to be visible and we end up caring what other people think.

  9. Dave Doolin Says:

    I would prefer to be invisible.

    It’s a luxury I cannot afford.

    Being known for something is required for earning enough money to pay the rent.

    Otherwise I would be delighted to pretty much check out.

  10. Patricia Labelle Says:

    Interesting subject!

    Agree with Dave Doolin says!
    “Otherwise I would be delighted to pretty much check out. J’aime beaucoup.

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