On being different

You might not believe this, but most people live a life of compromise. They would rather conform, keep a low profile, do what’s safe, so they blend in with the other countless threads that form our society’s fabric.

And this isn’t a new phenomenon; centuries ago, Marcus Aurelius noted, “It never ceases to amaze me: We all love ourselves more than other people but care more about their opinion than our own.” That’s so darn true even today!

Instead of embracing who we are and what makes us unique, we heed to other people’s opinions and let it dictate what we do, what we wear, and what we think.

When asked, “why not be like the rest of us?” Stoic Agrippinus, who refused to keep a low profile during Nero’s reign, said, “I want to be the red, that small and brilliant portion which causes the rest to appear comely and beautiful …. ‘Be like the majority of people?’ And if I do that, how shall I any longer be red?”

That’s powerful. And if you’re like most people, ask yourself how exactly you are making your life matter. What do you stand for? What’s making you settle for mediocrity when you do so much better?

Most importantly, what’s stopping you from being that red? That small and brilliant portion that makes everything else beautiful.

(H/T: Ryan Holiday)

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