SUPERSTARS THAT FALL FROM GRACE

By Dr John Demartini

The Oscar Pistorius trial and the subsequent unwrapping of his personal life has stunned the world. Dr John Demartini, human behavioral specialist, explains the hubric tragedy of how, at the peak of their careers and fame, so many superstars fall from grace.

As I travel the world and present my signature program “The Breakthrough Experience”, I help attendees realise that they have two sides that remain balanced.

I ask people, “Would you believe if I said that you are always mean and never nice? Or that you’re always nice and you’re never mean? You’re always up, you’re never down? You seem depressed, you never seem to be up?” They answer “no” to every one of these questions.

When I ask them, “Would you agree that you have times you are up and times when you are down, times when you are nice and times when you are mean?” They reply, “yes”. So inherently, innately we know that we have a balance. We have ups and downs, we can be nice and mean, kind and cruel, generous and stingy. In fact all of our traits are paired with their opposites.

We intuitively know this. But sometimes we can be fooled into thinking either from our own experiences or from other people’s perceptions that we are one-sided. And we can become proud and hide our internal shame or be shamed and hide our internal pride.

The moment we see only one side of ourselves, we are vulnerable and nature brings us events to help us see both sides and keep them balanced. Successful high achieving individuals in many walks of life – celebrities, sports personalities, any high achiever – can be put on a pedestal because of media. And if the public and the person buys into it and assumes there’s an up without a down, a positive without a negative, a hero without a villain, the high achiever can be setting their own trap.

Our mind maintains an inherent balance, but our awareness sometimes misinterprets it and overlooks it. So the second we start to think we are greater than we are, our pride brings the fall. And the very people who built us up, the media, the fans, will be the first people to bring us down. What took maybe years or decades to build can be destroyed overnight.

It is wiser to have sustainable achievement by maintaining a balanced orientation, by not taking credit so that we get blame, by not getting proud so that we need humility. Otherwise we are going to have to hide behind celebrity walls, live in secluded locations to prevent the world from seeing the other side that we innately know is there.

Superstardom and fame can be the very source of every living hell. The public assumes that the rich and famous have a better life. But behind the scenes there’s always another side… unmet expectations, depressions due to fantasies and issues of internal self-image. So it’s wiser to keep a balanced orientation and continue to serve and remain centred and humbled, and not let the outer fame have to bring the outer tragedy to get us back into balance.

If we are mildly proud, we get low priority distractions as a feedback reminder. If we are moderately proud, we get challenging circumstances. If we are severely proud, we attract tragic events to humble us. Decade by decade we see examples of this from sports personalities to celebrities, to leaders, politicians, athletes, superstars, supermodels. So as Nietzsche said, if you can own your hero and your villain, your saint and your sinner, your two sides equally, you don’t need nature to have to get you back into balance. Those who can’t govern themselves attract events to govern them.

Many heroes have fallen and while their hero was a gift, so was their villain equally a gift. It sets them free from having to be a one-sided person. It sets them free from having to strive for that which is unattainable. So when you meet somebody that you look up to, know that you’re probably blind to their downsides. Don’t be fooled by one-sided people. And don’t be fooled in the mirror. See both sides within yourself.

I did a study where I went through the Oxford Dictionary and I circled every trait that a human being can have. They can be admired or despised, liked or disliked, traits of the hero or traits of the villain, and when I looked honestly and fully, I discovered that I had every one of these traits within. I was kind at times and cruel at times, I was generous at times and stingy at times, I was open and closed, considerate and inconsiderate, honest and dishonest, sweet and bitter.

I found 4,628 traits in myself that were listed in the Oxford Dictionary. I realised nothing was missing in me, that I wasn’t worth putting on a pedestal or in a pit. I was only worth putting in the heart. Don’t put people on pedestals or pits. Put them in your heart. The super hero doesn’t have to end up being the super villain.

Author: Dr J Demartini

Author, Leadership and Performance Specialist, Educator, Business Consultant and Founder of the Demartini Institute www.DrDemartini.com

4 Replies to “SUPERSTARS THAT FALL FROM GRACE”

  1. I have found that people change over time with different circumstances. Things that change people are varied, like your study. To me, it seems the most important thing that shape people’s life is growing up in a stable family with a loving mother and father. If some people don’t have that, it increases the chance that they will change over time. Usually for the worse.

  2. Thanks Dr Demartini for sharing this is so profound.

    Life is really a gift and it must always be treated as such though sometimes we take things for granted in life.

    This is one those articles I must read twice a month.

    Regards,
    Lungisani

  3. Great post Sire.

    Success is great. But it’s a glass house when we forget the other side of us.

    No one cheats mother nature.

    Universal laws will always remain universal. And these laws have no respect for anyone’s societal status or measure of popularity.

    Accepting the both sides of who we are is key to balancing our lives and reputation.

    When the media praises you, they’re also secretly sharpening a knife behind your back. Most celebrities fail to understand this until tragic events happen.

    I’m still learning my limits and strengths.

  4. In the case of Oscar Pistorius he was placed on a pedestal and a hero especially after the London 2012 Olympic Games. In my book (manuscript still incomplete) I used him as a clear example of the importance of a strong work ethic and how you can reach the top despite disabilities, and overcome challenges. Then on February 14th 2013, he instantly became “super villain” and has ever since been relentlessly pursued to find him guilty of murder of his girlfriend. He disappointed everyone. Even after his sentencing of culpable homicide and starting his jail sentence on October 21st 2014 he is being pursued by the prosecutors (who intend lodging an appeal on the lenient sentence and verdict from the Court) and continuously judged by the media around the world. It has been an eye opener how people have used this saga as a “mirror” perhaps putting themselves in his place. It is equally astounding how people have developed widely differing perceptions ranging from pure disgust to sympathy. There seems to be a “dark side” within each of us. Many want the maximum sentence imposed. Yet placed in his shoes, each one of us could “snap” and given in to the negative traits lurking within. It is a sobering thought, that there is a need to be vigilant to balance our positive traits with the negative traits so we don’t make terrible mistakes that lead to tragedy in our own lives, and preventing us becoming the best we can be and realizing our true purpose, and falling from grace.

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