Grasp for the gift that’s already inside ourselves

The question is not whether we should receive credit, but rather:

What is receiving credit going to give us that we do not already have? 

The warm feeling of being safe? The proud sensation that we were right? The soothing relief that we didn’t fail? 


Turns out, once we actually tease out our own list of what we think our precious credit will buy us, we slowly discover that all these things we are working and striving for, we already possess. We’re grasping for the gift that’s already inside ourselves. 

As the mystics used to say, standing on a whale, fishing for minnows. 

Getting someone to give us credit, that’s just a means to an end to. It’s an intermediary. 

Godin writes about this issue his innovative book abouttribes:

Real leaders don’t care about receiving credit. If it’s about our mission, if it’s about spreading the faith, about seeing something happen, not only do we not care about getting credit, we actually want other people to take it. They want the community to grow however it can.

But the frustrating part is, some people simply don’t trust this. They are suspicious when we say that we don’t want credit. 

You encounter this archetype quite a bit in the agency and startup worlds.

Wait a minute, you’re going to stand there and tell me that having your name mentioned is not as important than becoming an integral part of the team? We’re calling bullshit. 

This has happened to me many times. Apparently, my generosity scares people. And that’s fine. They don’t get the joke. And they never will. 

Because here’s the real punchline. Enough people already know my value, and enough people already respect my work. What matters now is that the work spreads, becomes an enabling force for other people’s talents and keeps our story moving forward. 

Forget getting credit. Create from your primal center, not your grasping ego. 

Bask in the anonymous glory of knowing that your work matters. 

If that can be enough for you, you win. 


Are you still taking the long route to fulfillment when there is a shortcut?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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