Farnam Street helps you make better decisions, innovate, and avoid stupidity.

With over 400,000 monthly readers and more than 93,000 subscribers to our popular weekly digest, we've become an online intellectual hub.

Admiration at the expense of self-worth

This thought from Nassim Taleb:

The optimal solution to being independent and upright while remaining a social animal is: to seek first your own self-respect and, secondarily and conditionally, that of others, provided your external image does not conflict with your own self-respect. Most people get it backwards and seek the admiration of the collective and something called “a good reputation” at the expense of self-worth for, alas, the two are in frequent conflict under modernity.

brings to mind this quote by Epictetus:

Who are those people by whom you wish to be admired? Are they not these whom you are in the habit of saying that they are mad? What then? Do you wish to be admired by the mad?

The Discourses of Epictetus