Jason VanLue)

The Jesus Complex

DATE: 05.21.12 • READING TIME: 2min

As humans, we crave attention. It's not necessarily a bad thing — we're created to love, to seek and show affection, and to care. But many times this desire is detrimental. And as designers, who can be rather moody, the desire for attention is more manifest.

I've heard this affectionally and humorously referred to as 'The Jesus Complex'. I guess that means sometimes we want to be treated like Jesus; as if to say we are important, valuable, popular. Maybe we want to be treated like a gods.

What's funny, is that if we were true to history, we really should call it 'The James Complex', or 'The John Complex' — they were the ones who thought they should "sit at Jesus' right hand in heaven". They'd be the ones seeking thousands of Twitter followers and hundreds of Dribbble likes; whereas Jesus was meek, served others, and didn't care much for attention. But that's really not the point.

The point is we crave attention to a fault. And does it really matter? I mean, does our anxiexy about how we're viewed, and what people think really make a difference? I heard an older friend say once not to 'worry about tomorrow, cause that's yesterday's job'. It's a true story.

In an episode of Mad Men, Don Draper and Michael Ginsburg compete on a campaign, and in a confrontation in the elevator Ginsburg comments that he thinks he feels bad for Don. Draper pauses, and replies in his best 'sod off' demeanor, "I don't think about you at all."

The real point is this: most successful people don't worry WHAT people think about them, or even IF people think about them. They just do things. Success as a designer isn't measured in likes, follows, pins, or points. If you want to be successful, do something. Make something. Build something.

Don't give into 'The Jesus Complex', or 'The James Complex' or whatever. Don't give into it while you're trying to be successful, and don't give into in once you're successful.

Do, make, build. Repeat.

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