“I have no more fixed principle than that of not altering the course of my life to suit your prejudices; you may pour your accustomed talk upon me from all sides; I shall not think you are abusing me, but that you are merely wailing like poor little babies.” – Seneca
It doesn’t matter what we decide to dedicate ourselves to, there will always be detractors. There will always be people standing on the sidelines giving us their unsolicited opinion about what we are doing, how we are doing it, and the value of our choices.
The easier position to take is to tell ourselves not to listen to them. We can remind ourselves that ‘haters gonna hate’ or that the only thing that matters is ‘the man in the arena’ but that doesn’t really give us the flexibility and perspective we need to fully embrace the path of becoming the best possible version of ourselves.
Instead, we should be listening to people when they criticize our actions, intentions, and ideas. We should try to look at it from their point of view and we should learn to determine whether or not their argument has merit. Because it might.
It might be that we need to adjust course in order to be on the path to self betterment. It might be that we need to hear that our attitude and actions do not reflect the ideals we are trying to portray. Or it might be that haters gonna hate and we need to stay focused on our own path.
But we won’t know until we listen.
virtus fortis vocat