After fame is oblivion

Share This Post

07th April, 2022

Some time ago, I was reading from “Marcus Aurelius: Warrior, Philosopher, Emperor” by Frank McLynn.

Marcus Aurelius lived roughly 2000 years ago and ruled the Roman Empire from 161 AD to 180 AD. ‎What makes him so special, and relevant, today is that he was uniquely able to blend military leadership with profound philosophy for a remarkable life.

One line of his deeply fascinated me, “After fame is oblivion.”

And that got me thinking as we see this happen all around us so frequently

Why do the once thriving nations lose their momentum and become also rans.

Why do great institutions falter after a while?

Why do famous entertainers so often destroy themselves?

Why do market-leading companies so rarely continue their dominance?

Why do so few A-Performers end up as Icons?

Why do great dynasties and families lose and fade away?

A great trait of legendary is longevity. Yet it’s so rare in the world at this moment.

“What I learned as I deconstruct empires of geography, creativity, productivity and prosperity, that have fallen is this:

“the very fact of greatness brings with it the danger of destruction.”

When we are most successful, we are most intimately faced with the seductions that will bring our success to its very knees.


Because we stop pursuing the tough opportunities and relax into an easier work style.

We fail to remember who we serve and the imperative of helpfulness.

We resist growth in favor of pleasure and comfort.

We no longer have a fire to win or the passion to excel but, instead, rest on past victories.

We forget that disruption and change is inevitable and stop changing.

We start underestimating the competing forces and also forget that “The Black Swans” exist.

We stop feeling the need for innovation and improving ourselves constantly.

We get into our comfort zone and remain content with it.

Let’s not walk away to oblivion.

Shall like to end with the famous quote from Charles Darwin,

“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives;

it is not the strongest that survives;

but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”

Stay Blessed Forever.