In the dictionary, the definition of raving is wild, irrational, incoherent, total disregard for reality, unconditional, amazing, wildly extravagant, outrageous, bombastic.
The way I see it, you add the word fan to it and you get extreme unrelenting blind crazy love and advocacy.
We come into the world and our fans immediately increase— it’s hard to not be a raving fan of a baby who’s flawless and innocent and completely at the mercy of others….our parent’s family and friends and circles converge upon us, cheering us on. It’s our heyday in this arena…. our best wishes are most people’s ultimate intention.
When we’re toddlers our lives get bigger and we add some raving fans… however our personalities are formed and we’re losing a few now too.
Maybe (hopefully) it’s an even exchange.
From age 5 or so on, it’s mostly a downward plunge and by the time you become an adult the raving fans have diminished nearly entirely…. You still have fans, perhaps lots of them, but a raving fan is a rare and cherished commodity.
From here the road widens… people go out and figure out what to do without the unconditional support and devotion….and hopefully we begin to make our own way.
We go crazy for a while, seek external fillers for this big inner void… we achieve, we strive, we accomplish, we create— perhaps hoping to re-garner our old raving fans back into their assigned seats…. Or, we blow it big—we numb ourselves, give up, bail out… believing our fans abandoned us and we’re no longer worthy.
Most of us seem to eventually sort things out, drop the crazy and dial in—we find partners, spouses, circles of friends and with some effort and exchange, they become our new fans—people who really love us and support us and believe in us.
If we’re lucky, a true raving fan shows up… a person who wakes up every morning reset to loving you unconditionally, supporting you and cheering you on no matter what you did the day prior. … a person whose most pure intention is your happiness, joy and well-being—who believes in you dramatically more than you could ever believe in yourself.
I’m the luckiest guy ever—I have a raving fan and I am one. I took it for granted a long time, didn’t realize how valuable my fan was to me, how intensely vital my fan’s been to so many parts of me… It actually took me realizing I was a raving fan and how incredible that is to the recipient for me to realize what I’m receiving. It’s staggering.
With this new awareness, I look around and notice that most happy people, most people experiencing success and joy and really doing life well can quickly identify one absolute raving fan.
I’m rather confident in saying it’s a key ingredient to sustainable success and happiness.
I can look at lots of people and realize they’ve not yet found theirs… Their lives are just plain hard. A raving fan makes the daily struggle feel a million times lighter—so without one it’s a really heavy load.
Some of us eventually begin to turn inward and explore the ultimate raving fan—a higher power or spiritual life that fills those deeper voids that even big circles and lovers don’t always reach.
In the end, I’ve found that although I’m literally blown out beyond grateful and forever devoted to my raving fan, what I really want now is to be my own raving fan as much as physically possible.
Ultimately, I think it’s the final destination.. to find your raving fan in your world and within you… and then to go make sure you’re someone else’s because it’s in the cheering that we recognize the cheer.