“For example at a banquet do not tell people how they should eat, instead eat the way you are supposed to eat.” – Epictetus
Leading by example. We all know we are supposed to do it.
Staying humble. Same story.
But how many of us find a new diet, a new workout, a new philosophy, or a new money management tool and we become dogmatic, trying to enforce these lessons on everyone around us.
(I understand the irony of reading these words about philosophy written by someone who knows nothing about philosophy)
Better to instead give new ideas and practices a chance to work for us, a chance for them to develop the way they are supposed to or to reveal themselves as garbage. That way, when our new workout plan fails to incinerate our belly fat in thirty days or less our loved ones won’t have that failure in mind when we are demonstrating the value of the next new idea.
Instead we should be waiting for them to come to us asking what we are doing differently. They should see the changes in us that we achieve through choosing to live a little differently, respond to life’s challenges a little differently, and as a result interact with the world around us a little differently.
And if people do not seek out the reason we seem different to them we should be ready to acknowledge that maybe we do not demonstrate anything that sets us apart. If that is true, maybe we don’t need to be sharing our ideas or practices with others.
Instead we can focus on the one thing we have control over. Ourselves. The thoughts we think, the things we do, and who we are becoming.
virtus fortis vocat