Mankind from time immemorial has always sought for attention. We crave for the attention and recognition of others. When we say or do something we internally hope that we get appreciation, hear some kind words or get a pat on the back for our work. We live our lives based on the opinions of others.
According to Alain De Botton our sense of identity is held hostage to the opinions of others. In other words our self worth, to a large extent, depends on what others say and think of us. Why should this be so? This kind of approach to life is fraught with danger as we are bound to be easily hurt if somebody says something unkind to us.
One’s sense of dignity and self worth should be based on doing what one wants, how one wants and achieving the progress one wishes for. We should feel a warm glow from the fact that we achieved something dear to our hearts, in a manner that really appealed to us. Any additional praise or appreciation we get from others is definitely a bonus.
So in life, we need to identify those things we are passionate about and go about accomplishing them to our own satisfaction. While a certain amount of validation from an external source is necessary it should not be our only and main concern. We should only be keen to reaching the end goal that we wanted. That will give us the satisfaction and the contentment that it deserves.
We need to set goals for ourselves and honestly achieve it through our own efforts. Our self worth should be based on things that we have truly achieved rather than being based on praises from others.
We really don’t need external validation but if it comes our way that is definitely a plus. While the opinions of others are important they should neither deter us from doing something nor determine what we do in life.