To Be or To Do?

You want praise from people who kick themselves every 15 minutes, the approval of people who despise themselves?

Or, the other translation:

Dost thou desire to please him who pleaseth not himself or dost thou think that he pleaseth himself who doth use to repent himself almost of everything that he doth
The Golden Book of Marcus Aurelius By Marcus Aurelius, Meric Casaubon

Credit or Influence? When it comes to the two, I’m not really sure it’s even a question. Because credit really, doesn’t mean anything. The people you’d be seeking it from–if the analogy stays true–are precisely the people who had to fight so hard to prove wrong. It seems almost comical then that the ultimate validation would be for them to finally endorse it. That doesn’t make any more right. All throughout school, I was one of the smartest kids in the room but people rarely knew it. Look at where I ended up for college. Normally, the standards or the incentives would keep me quiet. But sometimes, it’d get shown and everyone would see. And guess what? It didn’t make me feel any better and it certainly didn’t improve the quality of my work.

Normally, it just made me angry and disillusioned. It was like “Now, you’re our equal. Welcome.” What good does that do me? What good does it do anyone? Boyd is totally right. At some point, you’ll come to a crucial point in your life when you have to decide if you want to be someone that does stuff, or talk about doing stuff, if your goal is action and progress or credit and accolades. I decided a long time about which route I was going to take every time I came to that fork. It puts you at peace and it saves you from the slavery of other people. The first thing you learn when truly open your eyes and look at the world as it is, for what it is, is that the people who you seem so willing to tie your happiness or correctness too, are stupid, unexamined and hypocritical.

Source: Two really good posts on Credit vs Influence and Contrarians always losing.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.