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Why Caring What Others Think Breeds Mental Illness

Academy of Ideas

The Art of Stoic Joy and How to Live a Fulfilling Life

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To live a more authentic life and bring order, harmony, and strength to our psyche, it is important to step off the path of conformity and seek inner fulfillment rather than external success. We can diminish the fear of ridicule and rejection by intentionally behaving in ways that elicit social disapproval. Engaging in acts of nonconformity can help us detach from the opinions of others and cultivate a greatness of self through mastery of body and mind. By adopting a mindset of psychological observation, we can view acts of ridicule or disapproval as opportunities to learn about human nature and our own potential. It is also crucial to remember that the opinions of those who judge and insult us matter the least, as they are often consumed by self-hate and misery. Voluntarily exposing ourselves to ridicule and rejection teaches us that no harm really comes to us when others disapprove of our ways. By embracing our authentic selves and living free from the fear of ridicule, we can experience a greater and more fulfilling life.

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