Set yourself free and never mind what anyone else thinks—be your own man.
As simple as it sounds, this is one decision that will clear a very wide path for you as you pursue your very best each day. There is nothing like the feeling of not giving a rat’s ass about another man’s opinion. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life or what your station, if you can make this a reality in your mind, you will live on a higher plane.
The bottom line is that we will all be in the ground in a few decades regardless of our accomplishments and difficulties. Our lives are just a sliver in time. So why in the world would you want to waste even a second worrying about what another person thinks about you? What a waste of energy.
Most of the time, what will really eat away at a man’s soul is his status or appearance in the mind of someone he really doesn’t like anyway. It can be a rival, a peer, a competitor, a family member or even a former lover. Or perhaps just the mental construct of “people.” Why is that? Why is it that a person or people we dislike will maintain such a stubborn influence over our state of mind?
I believe the answer lies in the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic values.
If you are a man focused on extrinsic values, then superficial qualities will hold sway over you. You will derive pleasure from status and appearance. In other words, your primary source for validation and ego gratification will be from other people. And like all forms of pleasure, the source for this experience will be external; you will be giving up control.
Another problem with a pleasure based existence is that eventually tolerance will come into play. As with a drug or any other externally driven high, over time you will build up a resistance to its effects. It won’t be very long before it takes more and more of the stimulus in question to satisfy you.
You will eventually become very dependent on external validation from other people for your happiness. And then one day someone will in some way offend your ego driven sensibilities. That person will light you up and set your fragile self-image on fire. There will be sleepless nights, fury and gnashing of teeth. Sound familiar?
Combine a reliance on external stimulus with tolerance and you will be on the road to nowhere. You will be creating a viscous circle—a dead end existence. Eventually you will become addicted to your need for validation, but it will forever take more and more of a hit to give you that same level of pleasure you so desperately desire.
A man in desperate need of pleasure is no man at all. The words weasel and weak come to mind. This is also a man whose dependencies will eventually manifest themselves in many negative ways; even if the dependency is simply on social status and appearances. It’s not too hard to predict a permanent downward spiral. The ego is a powerful and insidious thing. This is no way for a man to live.
Even the opinion of someone you care about should not hold permanent sway over you. That is, unless you owe them a debt of honor which is the cause of their dissatisfaction or ill will. But then honor is an intrinsic value. It is a man’s duty to himself and the Creator to maintain his obligations; if you pay your debt and cure the opinion, then great.
But even here worrying about what another person thinks is a waste of time. If you are a man of good character and you are pursuing your Life Mission, let your actions speak for themselves.
Certainly if there is some information that can cure your situation then be sure to reach out. In the end though, all you can do is keep driving forward and if the person in question is worth the consideration they will eventually come around. And if not, then perhaps you have misjudged them.
The lesson here is to focus in intrinsic values. This is what will set you free.
Focus on your character above all else. Make virtue and honor the foundation for all that you do. No man will be perfect, but continuously strive to become better. Turn your focus for validation inward.
This is how you will learn to live independent of the opining of others.
This is how you will live with personal power and happiness.
There is power in intrinsic values because you are in control. Control is power is it not? Take control over your mental state of affairs. Develop yourself. Set the bar high and then meet that standard. Become your own best friend. Enjoy your own company.
Once you reach this point, then what anyone else thinks will rarely matter to you. As you run into the idiots and arrogant people in this world, it will be a breeze to just brush them aside with confidence and amused mastery. They won’t matter to you.
You will know it, they will know it—and they will know, you know, they know it.
The best part is that as you become more and more comfortable in your own skin and independent of the judgement of others, you will become increasingly magnetic in nature. In a sense becoming outcome independent for validation will make you more attractive to other people. They will unconsciously sense your rugged individualism and peace of mind. And the natural order will draw them to you; by letting go you will attract. Such is our human nature.
Intrinsic values will also lead to happiness. Happiness is internally driven and without the negative effects of tolerance. It is a much more level and stable emotion compared to the fleeting nature of pleasure. As you ignore external judgement and focus inward on your good character you are on your way to living a happy life.
A weak man pursues external validation and pleasure. A man of strength pursues internal validation and happiness. Happiness will lead to peace of mind and pleasure will lead to desperation.
So do yourself a big favor and never mind what anyone else thinks. Hell, the man probably has his own set of issues, regardless of the eminent front he projects. You worry about yourself and let him worry about himself. We shall see how things turn out in the end. After all, it’s not where you start, but where you finish in this life that matters.
If it is a challenging time for you right now, then resolve to play the long game.
Rise up in defiance of your difficulties.
Always remember, there are a lot of extremely successful people in this world who couldn’t hold a candle to man of rock solid character. Especially to a man who’s been through the fire and come out the other side.
And if any particular man is legit, then good for him. But if he seems to enjoy looking down on others, you have to wonder what lies beyond the façade.
Live a principled life of virtue and action. In the end this is all that really matters. Create your Life Mission and run with it.
Separate yourself from the opinions of others and perfect your character.
Follow this path and you cannot fail.
Never mind what anyone else thinks.
Be your own man.
All the best,