The Path from Nobody to Somebody
Bill Cottringer

"Be a somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody." ~anonymous.

Sometimes without being aware of it, or at least not fully knowing the details, we are all searching for a path to help us go from being a nobody to become a somebody. This is the gap between where we are and where we want to be that begs closing for the expected peace of mind and satisfaction. Ironically, we were all born as a somebody, but quickly became a nobody before we realized it. First, came language development which hid critical knowledge and wisdom we needed to learn how to be a successful and happy somebody, as originally intended. Then a little later came all the unexpected curve balls life throws our way, often obscuring the path to being somebody and makes the nobody path we are on more appealing. And of course, the efforts used to find a path of our suiting vary as do the results we get from what efforts we make. Below are seven useful tricks to speed-up this process to be able to enjoy it much more and for a longer period of time.

1. Everything we try to do in life requires knowing what our purpose is in doing it. Without such purpose, we are trying to score a bullseye on a target we can’t even see, and more likely with a wobbly rubber bow and arrow while on the move. And if by chance we conclude a wrong purpose in what we are doing, we will know that mistake soon enough to make a needed course correction. Finding our unique purpose in this life, which was either assigned or chosen, can be an arduous process. This may involve an honest self-assessment as to what we seem to do best and like and do the most. Or it may require us to ask trusted others what this purpose may be from their perspective of us. And it may even involve having to do something important and valuable that needs to be done with no one else to do it, but which is extremely difficult and distasteful for us to do. Once we do discover our main mission in life, there is no turning back.
2. There are at least two reliable ways to get to the finish line quicker—you can run faster, move the finish line closer, or do both at the same time. Running quicker is a matter of building endurance and perseverance, while moving the finish line closer requires clever creativity in thinking and strategy. It is good to dream big and set lofty goals, but also wise to remain flexible and adaptable with a plan b or c in our back pocket just in case Murphy’s Law turns out to be truer than not. It is also smart to assertively deal with the inevitable conflicts head-on rather than avoiding them, since they are what build a somebody character.
3. An important realization to eventually stumble upon is the reality that how we define something determines how much or how little of the thing we actually have. Re-defining important things like success, happiness and being “somebody” from the external criteria of others to a more internal personal meaning to us is a real game-changer. Is a sure way to legitimately get to the finish line sooner. If these definitions involve things like money, power, popularity, fame, influence, and control, that is one thing that assures never being quite satisfied. But if they include a sense of making progress, having reasonable contentment, making a small contribution, helping others to be happy and successful, instilling important values in your children, making people laugh, or teaching kids some common sense, then we probably have enough and aren’t always wanting more.
4. The perspective from which you view life and people, usually determines what you believe to be so. You can choose to be positive, trusting, and hopeful for mostly good outcomes; negative, distrustful, and pessimistic in expecting bad outcomes, or somewhere in between as a realist. However, solid research shows that people who lean towards the optimistic perspective make more money, are happier, live longer, have fewer physical symptoms, and enjoy more satisfying relationships. Who doesn’t want those things? Finally, although it may be challenging to accept a different perspective of the truth other than your own, doing so is the best way to expand your field of vision to see the nearest path to being somebody.
5. Life definitely is based on the fundamental principle of banking. We simply must make a deposit first before we take a withdrawal. Life seems to be very consistent in actions and consequences, especially getting back what we put into something. For example, helping others to become somebody is probably the surest way to help ourselves learn, grow, and improve into our best self as somebody.
6. Commitment to continuous learning, growth and commitment is essential to becoming the someone we aspire to be. Sure, it is okay for us to pause and rest in our comfort zone from all our hard work, but you can never fall asleep there and forget there is always more work to do. Rest periods are only necessary to get your second d wind to kick in.
7. Becoming someone has to be a humbling process, because we can’t do it all by ourselves. And at the end of the day, becoming someone is more about unselfish appreciation than personal achievement.

"All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific." ~Unknown author.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is retired Executive Vice President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA, but still teaches criminal justice classes and practices business success coaching and sport psychology. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Because Organization, an intervention program in human trafficking and involved with volunteer work in the veteran’s and horse therapy program at NWNHC Family Fund. Bill is author of several business and self-development books, including, Re-Braining for 2000 (MJR Publishing); The Prosperity Zone (Authorlink Press); You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too (Executive Excellence); The Bow-Wow Secrets (Wisdom Tree); Do What Matters Most and “P” Point Management (Atlantic Book Publishers); Reality Repair (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Publish America); Critical Thinking (Authorsden); Thoughts on Happiness, Pearls of Wisdom: A Dog’s Tale (Covenant Books, Inc.). Coming soon: A Cliché a day will keep the Vet Away and Christian Psychology for Everyday Use (Covenant Books, Inc.). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (206)-914-1863 or