“As the fire-lights in harbors by a few pieces of dry wood raise a great flame and give sufficient help to ships which are wandering on the sea; so also a distinguished citizen in a a state which is tempest tossed, while he is himself satisfied with a few things does great service to his fellow citizens.” – Epictetus
Everything we are trying to get better at, holding ourselves to the standards that we have set for ourselves, they all have one underlying theme. They are comprised of small decisions we make every single day to create an ongoing and overarching narrative within our own lives. We each have our own set of internal standards that comprise the person we would like to become but all of us want the same thing, to be better people. Maybe smarter, stronger, kinder, or more influential. These all take the same thing, attention to the small decisions we make daily that shape the way we interact with the world.
Part of our goal should be to stand as an example to the people around us, the ones we interact with daily. Our goal should never be to tell people about the all the great decisions we are making, or the impressive gains we have made in becoming who we want to be, this would make us self righteous blow-hards, which is not likely the goal any of us have. Instead, our example should be doing the talking. People should see that we remain steadfast, unchanged, and unaffected by the events around us even as they appear to be happening to us. We should never have to tell people what our goals are, they should see them in our actions.
In setting this example we offer them a way out of the storm of life, safe passage through difficult situations by using the art of detachment and emotional discipline.
Our actions should speak louder than our words.
virtus fortis vocat