Q. I am seventeen and I want to be famous. You have spoken in many different countries. Does that make you famous? ‘Cause, if it does, I want to be a public speaker like you!

A. What an interesting question. Are you wanting to be successful or famous or both? Bottom line: fame does not equate with success. Aside from the fact that I don’t know whether public speaking is something that aligns with your brain bent or you know the area of interest you’d like to speak about, I wonder about your definition of famous.

Typically, that word simply means “known about” or “widely known” or even “well-known.” But for what? You may achieve fame or you may get notoriety. You can become famous and known nationally and internationally for positive achievements, for world-class ability in sports, arts, literature, or music; or you can gain notoriety and become known for negative behaviors and derided for your actions.

Goals are important, however, and I’m glad to see you are thinking about them. Goals help to create a map for your brain to help it understand where you want to go in life.

You might want to select something about which you are passionate, something that aligns with your brain’s energy advantage, and then bend every effort to hone your skills and increase your level of competence. You might choose to join Toast Masters or take Dale Carnegie’s public-speaking class to hone your skills. Perhaps you will do something for which others accord you fame, which at best is usually fleeting. Today’s “darling” is often tomorrow’s “pariah.” My brain’s opinion is that doing something in an attempt to become famous can be a frustrating and dead-end goal….