Think like a Roman: Part four

in Self Improvement2 months ago

Be content to seem what you really are. [Marcus Aurelius]

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I love history, and looking backward in time; learning from those who have come before me provides great insight into my own life, offers different perspectives and the opportunity to think and act a little differently. One such person is Marcus Aurelius [Roman emperor 161 to 180 AD] so here is a series on some of his words. image source

Marcus Aurelius says...

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Be content to seem what you really are

I began writing a post about following people on Hive this morning, I hope to finish and post it at some stage over the weekend. When scrolling through quotes for this post I came across the one above and decided it fitted nicely into the follow post concept I'd been working on; here's what it makes me think.

I believe it's fair to say social media is full of people presenting themselves and their overall lives as different who they really are and what their life is actually like.

There's sites that are worse thank others for it, they all have their individual idiosyncratic ways about them, but mostly people present themselves in a manner they feel will garner the most likes, comments, votes, shock-value, fame, notoriety, validation, reputation, or whatever it is that person is seeking. Those social media influencers, (fuck, I hate that term), are renowned for it, especially those marketing products like energy drinks, gym supplements, cosmetics and clothing. They present amazing, vibrant lives in which there's no problems and they're rich and beautiful and people swallow it hook, line and sinker.

People follow, like and vote and often seek to emulate the perceived success of their online hero(s) and present themselves in the same, unrealistic, and misleading manner.

But is what people present on social media [or real life for that matter] actually the truth, the reality of the situation and an accurate depiction of the individual? Possibly, but I think in most cases these people present what they feel their audience wants and what will return them as much as whatever they seek as possible.

This quote is very relevant in today's society and certainly in respect of social media.

I believe society to be very superficial, generally speaking - much more so than in previous times - and so many people struggle to feel relevant unless they look cool, have the latest thing, do the most awesome things, go to the best places and be seen to have an amazing satisfying is that? Superficially, there's some satisfaction I guess...but if it's not real, I'd say it's not all that satisfying, just depressing, no matter what is presented outwardly.

When no one is watching, when they aren't in the spotlight, no one is there to like, vote or comment favourably, it's the individual who has to find contentment, validation and relevance within themselves and if that's not possible, if a person is so habitually deceptive about who they are that they fool even themselves, well...I think it's not going to end so well. It's sad that people follow along with these behaviours and replicate them in their own ways, even when there's no commercial reward. It's sad that people can't often find contentment just by being themselves.

Note: I understand that a lot of these internet influencers do these things for money, like a job, and employ photographers, writers, AI and bots to make it all seem legit, but millions and millions of people make nothing from doing the same, other than an ego boost and validation within themselves...all at the expense of reality. It seems delusion is the new black.

I believe a person must like themselves to be liked by others; accepting who we are as individuals will help us be accepted by others. Sure, one can fake it to some degree, but how genuine are they being with themselves and how genuine is the validation and relevance they feel they receive? Ignorance is bliss, they say...delusion must be too.

Here on the Hive blockchain, I believe people should do the same; like themselves enough to present as their true self. I believe each has something to add and there's space for all of us, and I believe that being true to ourselves, content with who we are as individuals and presenting that to others, is the way to go. It's not only honest, but supports oneself emotionally through being able to view oneself as valuable to oneself and in one's own estimation. Sure, we don't have to pour out every single reality about ourselves, that could be dangerous, but being real, our true selves, should be seen as enough.

That's it today, an old quote that, to me at least, feels very pertinent in today's modern world and one we should all remember and work towards, in my humble opinion.

If you have any thoughts or other ways to perceive this quote feel free to drop a comment below and tell me about it.

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Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default, tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind - galenkp


I have always felt exactly the same way. Everyone has issues whether they are influencers, "models", famous, or every day Joe Bloggs. We all have times of happiness and times of sadness. The choice is there to be authentic or to only show a superficial slant of who you are and sure, I can understand that you don't want to splurge out every depressing aspect of your life, but to try persuade people that life is absolutely perfect all the time, well it's BS. This is why celebrities all seem fine and then have these insane moments or scandals or go off the rails completely - I think a lot of them can't handle having to live that façade continuously and it breeds discontent.

Authenticity comes at a price though - not everyone is going to like you, but if you like yourself, well who really cares what those people think? That's my take on it anyhow. Great post.

You say it pretty well, and I've not got anything to add that would bring any more value to your comment although...If there was a bloke called Joe, and his last name was Bloggs, his username on Hive should be @joebloggs. I know right? Get your mind around that!

I fully agree!
Being yourself is important, just as it is important to like yourself for who you are and, if we don't like something about us, commit ourselves to really improve it and not simply by showing realities on social media that are not true.

I believe that if the world is a little more superficial today it is also the fault of social media that once did not exist; we try to emulate wrong models and, as you say, many times we don't realize that some influencers show themselves in certain ways because they make money... I think it's legitimate of course.

However, I think that as it is the right of influencers to earn on certain things, it is the duty of users to inform themselves and understand who is really in front of them, because often it is all fiction, as they say... all that glitters is not gold!

You're right, it's up to the individual to determine whether to emulate the behaviours of others; it's not always the best way to go. Rarely is.

Yes, I believe that taking advice and having examples is useful, but then you need to be able to summarize and move forward with your own head and legs😉

We should all only ever want to be ourselves, and make that person the best we can be. Don't you think?

Yes, I totally agree, we should always try to be the best version of ourselves... already making a plan and committing ourselves to it could be a good result and a great starting point heh heh!😉

You had me at that first quote. I love Marcus Aurelius. Meditations is one of my favorite books and I have gone through it multiple times. So much wisdom in there.

I believe society to be very superficial, generally speaking - much more so than in previous times - and so many people struggle to feel relevant unless they look cool, have the latest thing, do the most awesome things, go to the best places and be seen to have an amazing satisfying is that? Superficially, there's some satisfaction I guess...but if it's not real, I'd say it's not all that satisfying, just depressing, no matter what is presented outwardly.

I agree. I think this is a big reason why worldwide depression is increasing. People are unhappy in the modern world, but they don't understand how to fix it, so they give into all these addictions—like social media and the desire to pretend to be someone we are not, as you talk about—to feel better, but these things almost always have the opposite effect.

I'd like to think here on Hive the people who have been here for a few years are pretty honest. The ones who come here just for easy money burn out really quickly and disappear before they even hit 1 year. But that is probably a simplistic view.

You speak truly. People turn to materialistic things looking to boost their happiness, but constantly wanting more brings unhappiness as the next best thing comes along and the person is then unhappy with their old thing. Consumerism.

There's happy people out there, and the truly happy ones are content with their life, have no need to continually seek and attain more things and are comfortable with who they are. Just my opinion.

Your last paragraph...Exactly!

I was pondering a similar point the other day from a slightly different angle. That was, as a leader in business, do I really present the true me. I often feel that I need to "put on a show" because the team expect from me to behave in a particular way. By leading a large team, I find I have to be really careful of what I say because (especially the junior team members) take everything I say with such power.

So if I am not always myself at work, am I myself anywhere?

It made me think (and I am going to write a post on this) that we play different roles in life where we present slightly different versions of ourselves. For example, when I am with my kids, I behave very different to when I am at work.

Social media is therefore a great example where people tailor the behaviour for a specific reaction and because the reasons for that are largely superficial we get a very skewed view of someone.

I actually believe though that Hive is somewhere where I can really be myself as I feel I can say things, express my view where perhaps I am more guarded in other situations because of the role I am playing.

There are always many versions of ourselves, I wrote a post about it a while back. We wear many hats, for many different reasons. I think Hive is a good outlet to be your true self, and I believe a person should do so most of the time, act around a set of core values and concepts. One must guard ones comments and actions and match them to a situation, but one should do so as themselves in my opinion.

I would say at work I am myself. I try to have integrity - walk the talk. I just know that I am also a little guarded. On Hive I feel I can say anything, express myself freely.

If a person doesn't know how to change a little to suit the situation things would be very bad for them. Imagine a parent of a two year old using the same technique and dialogues they do with the baby in the boardroom at work. A silly example, but makes my point. We are flexible people, us humans.

Social media influencers do the craziest thing just to be trending and have a vested interest. As I grew older, I realized that I do not need others’ validation to be happy. I love to grow in private and view myself as valuable with a humble heart. The key is to be real humans with valid emotions. Perhaps I strongly agree with your great reflections, Sir.

By the way, I wonder about what you are making about following people on Hive. Surely it would be very interesting. Thanks for today’s wonderful reflection about being true to ourselves.

Finding self-valudation, liking oneself is one of the first steps towards a better life. Just my opinion.

My post about following just outlines my process of following people on above. It'll be published soon.

It is true that today's society has a tendency to be superficial, and many people seek to present themselves in an attractive way on social networks. However, I think it is important to remember the importance of being authentic and accepting oneself, as this is what gives us true satisfaction and allows us to connect with others in a genuine way. It's easy to be tempted to present ourselves as someone other than who we really are, especially with the pressure to have a perfect life on social media, but ultimately, true happiness and acceptance comes from ourselves and not from external approval. In conclusion, I think it is important to be true to yourself and not be afraid to be authentic on social media and in real life.

Ah yes, you're right. Thank you for paraphrasing my post and repeating it back in this comment.

Thank you, Galen, for this example of Marcus Aurelius... it confirms to me once more that we are the observer, it is an inner work!!! Even though it is so difficult to find happiness within oneself, it is a choice that makes me free, to be determined since no one is responsible for who is not...

Looking for those responsible outside of me is like turning around a maze with few exits. So it's better to accept yourself and if I'm in emotional balance I get my own gifts

No matter what happens, we always have choice; it might be a choice between two bad options, but it's still choice. Many make bad choices and pay the price and some make better ones, either way, a decision then action is always the best way to go.

Always Galen fortunately we have that power to choose even when we don't want to decide...we are choosing, we are human in that constant search for balance and fulfillment...dual minds, black and white and so on....

I have a post going live in seven hours about a mate of mine who made a choice...a very tough one, but he made it anyway. I respect people who decide then act. There's to much indecisiveness in society these days.

I'll be on the lookout, Galen. It's a pendulum to be on one side, to be on the other, and tries to be in the it's easy, but it doesn't condition either.

What you have described is very common here, we now have internet role models who only flaunt wealth without a reasonable source of wealth to show for it, this makes young ones put themself under unnecessary pressure to immerse wealth, and in the real sense of things, some of the so-called role models do not even have half of what they claim to have. If only we can be true to ourselves, love, and push ourselves to what we believe, then it would be better.

It seems that people will do anything to mislead others for their own gain, although I believe they'll have to pay the piper at some stage, that their deceptions will ultimately bring them nothing but unhappiness.

Right, I always believe that deep within, they are basically unhappy, we must just brace ourselves not to be deceived by them.

Yeah, that's a good way to put it, brace ourselves.

It's easy to get caught up in the spin these days, but that doesn't make it right.

I wrote about the way people are diving into body modifications just because they want the society to accept them even to the detriment of themselves.

Getting people to like that fake life we post out there won't make a difference in reality and people slowly lose the value they hold while engaging in that act.

We can't be perfect, everyone can't be handsome or curvy, and accepting ourselves first is the only way we can get others to accept us as well. I should be known for who I am, and it is left for whoever wants to like me to do that for who I am.

Yeah, well said. People don't seem to want to be liked for who they are (lack of self esteem I guess) and so they make up a persona and present that as themselves. It's done on Hive too. It's delusional though, and often easy to see through.

Dear @galenkp why are you downvoting my posts. What is my crime now. I am trying to make a high quality video every day and try to increase engage.I always try to preserve the beauty of nature. Try to remove polluted garbage from nature.Still why this downvote. When people commit crimes, there is a way out, there is an appeal.Please tell me how to get rid of this downvote?

I always try to preserve the beauty of nature. Try to remove polluted garbage from nature.

Then you should be content with that.

You post on dtube for the autovote they give you, nothing more. You post the same things...I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I picked up this rubbish, I picked up that rubbish, I think you get the idea.

What you're not understanding is that on Hive value can be added or taken away from a post for almost seven days, so the rewards are not yours until they pay out.

You are free to post what you like, I'm not asking you to change, you are free to act as you wish. But, that freedom extends to others also, and they are free to add or subtract from a post's reward if they choose. No reasons are needed.

You should try posting on instead of dtube, you might have more luck, although it's not a given.

There's no need to respond to me, I've said my piece, it's all you'll get. Please stop asking me about downvotes from this point on.
I posted on 3speak and got downvoted there too. So there is no value for good work here?

And what I do, that's it so should be mentioned in the video.

That means posting on dtube can't expect to get votes.Then you should downvote all dtube posts.?

Great words. Also in Hive - people will find each other by real interests.

I agree, those who wish to connect will make it happen.