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I have observed several different things that are all part of the same phenomenon. If one lives too long, one will have to reinvent themself. I do not care how popular or wealthy the person is in their first act of life, there will almost certainly be an act in the play where any person will become unpopular and an outcast.
Virtually every politician who started out as a big sensation became viewed as a tyrant or dictator just 10-years later. Mussolini and Hitler are great examples. Ron DeSantis has been a superstar over the last three years. Now that his time in the sun is fading, we are starting to see that he is a little rough around the edges and not popular (I still support him). Obama was popular for about eight years and has been viewed as an incompetent traitor ever since, etc.
With classic rock, I get bored and start to watch really obscure DVDs. Almost all of the big bands, such as Pink Floyd and The Who, fell out of favor in the early 1980s. They were struggling to fill small 3,000 seat venues. Then, they had a resurgence a couple of decades later and could fill huge stadiums again.
I am watching the Ken Burns documentary on Ben Franklin. He was a global star up until his 70s. Then, he fell out a favor and basically got kicked out of London. He was forced to become an American patriot because the King George banished him. Even people back in the colonies did not like him. He went from superstar to deadbeat, then back to Founding Father again.
Ulysses Grant went from being a world superstar after the Civil War, to President of the United States, then to being an outcast. He was too honest for Washington DC even back then.
General Patton went from hero to zero, smeared and disgraced by his own government. He did not anticipate the rise of communism back in the United States.
This is why I am fascinated by people who have led long lives that have been continually successful. I believe they are aware of what I describe above and consciously tried to avoid these pitfalls. They are always anticipating the future.
Steve Jobs reinvented himself several times. After Apple computer, he created a whole new industry in Hollywood with Pixar, and then he created the iPhone, as well as destroyed music with iTunes. Contrast that life with Jeff Bezos, or many other one hit tech wonders.
Jack Nicklaus went from being the best golfer in the world, to the best golf architect in the world, to now his third act of life where he is a big philanthropist running hospitals in South Florida. Contrast that life with Tiger Woods.
The Rolling Stones, although they were a bit of a pop band masquerading as a blues band, have had a successful career. They could be the most amazing of all of the long careers.
Elon Musk has a fork in the road ahead of him. He could become a broke deadbeat who can’t afford the debt on Twitter once the stock market crashes, or he can truly turn his empire into what he calls “X”. He could destroy YouTube, Facebook, traditional media, and all of the telecom middleman like Comcast with his satellites. His robots could then be installed in millions of homes.
One thing is for certain, no matter how much fame or money you have, if you live past the age of 60, you are going to have a period of your life where you are struggling. This is why I appreciate how difficult it is for people to have successful long careers. Staying successful is very hard to do.
What will be my third act? Stay tuned.