The Daily Stoic for March 29th. “Why do you need to impress these people again?”.

“If you should ever turn your will to things outside your control in order to impress someone, be sure that you have wrecked your whole purpose in life. Be content, then, to be a philosopher in all that you do, and if you wish also to be seen as one, show yourself first that you are and you will succeed.”
—EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 23

These words from Epictetus probably sound like a complete anachronism by today’s standards. Impressing others has become a lifestyle.

Instagram and other social networks, the internet gurus, TV shows, the myriad of fashion and lifestyle bloggers pushing pictures of themselves on tropical islands… we are all guilty of it in one way or another.

Instagram is actually the perfect distillation of this need of constant bragging. We want to show the world how cool our new clothes are, how healthy and delicious our breakfast was, and how amazing lives we live.

It’s not just a crawling for likes and comments, it has become a business too. And the problem is not that someone makes money by presenting a fake portrayal of herself. The problem is when that masquerade becomes so ubiquitous that distorts reality.

Why Do You Need To Impress These People Again?

One of the best things, in my view, of the Daily Stoic, is the fact that it makes you question things you’d never ask yourself. As I reflected on this subject, I realized I have fallen into that trap more than once… and still do.

We all love others to acknowledge our work, and we all love when someone give us the nod. There’s a very fine line between that and actually needing to impress other to get their approval.

It would be so easy for me to say that I never cross that line, that I’m immune to vanity… but I am not.

Hence, I have decided to do a conscious effort to be humbler every day. To help others without them ever knowing it. To let go my ego. That’s an important part of buddhism and eastern philosophy. It’s about time I try to apply it to my life.

Have you ever wondered it yourself?

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “Why do you need to impress these people again?”, reflects on our need to impress others, or get their approval. Sometimes, we do things with that goal, consciously or unconsciously.

In my case, after thinking about it, I realized I may be guilty of that on more than one occasion. Thus, I have decided to try to be more modest. I’ll let you know how it goes 😊

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