Nobody Owes You Love, Respect, and Admiration
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
You’re a social animal. You want respect, admiration, and status. Some people want these things in varying degrees, but we all want them. Far too many people have the false belief that people should like them for no reason.
“Just be yourself and everything will be fine.”
Be yourself is the best and worst piece of advice I’ve ever heard. On the one hand, you don’t want to be someone you’re not to get others to like you so, yes, you should be yourself, but you should be the best version of yourself.
Some people take the advice as permission to do zero work on themselves and wait for the world to just show them love. But that’s not how the world works. Also, are you really being yourself if you’re selling yourself short?
Again, I look at the world through the lens of results and outcomes. Not the way things should be, but the way things are. Also, being your most authentic self is a paradox because it involves achieving worldly outcomes for non-wordly reasons. You’re playing the game for the sake of yourself and the rewards at the bi-product.
Maybe it’s not fair that personal appearance in general, from fitness to grooming to body language, affects your prospects in life, but it does. Maybe it’s not fair that confidence and certainty command more respect than a meek wallflower attitude, but it’s true.
Perhaps we should all take the time to carefully consider the inner soul of every human we come across instead of using heuristics and snap judgments to filter through people, but we don’t.
You can’t just be one hundred percent yourself one hundred percent of the time and say anything you want to anyone without having any sort of filter or social calibration.
Speaking of social, oftentimes the people who have better social skills advance more quickly than those who have more true competence at the skill. Tough cookies.
When it comes to bringing people to your cause, whether it’s building an audience, finding customers, or starting a movement, you have to find the best intersection between what you have to offer and what people want.
Far too often I see business owners and content creators use the word ‘my’ too much — my content, my business, my art. Nope, your content, business, and art are for other people.
The delicate balance between staying true to yourself and responding to the way others perceive you, while simultaneously not caring what they think, is an inexact science you’ll never get quite right, but the aggressive pursuit of it will lead to great results over time.
Like it or not, the world is a stage. You don’t need to pander, but you don’t need to play the game. At least, you do if you want to win.