"Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner."
Tao Te Ching
We can often find ourselves living our lives in a way that's designed to please others and to win their approval. Wishing for others to think well of us, and moving out of the fear of not being good enough,we twist ourselves into shapeless masses that have little resemblance to who we really are, and in the process, lose touch with our own authentic, joyful selves. Yet, we might notice that the more we 'try' to please others, the more unhappy and frustrated we become with ourselves, becoming prisoners to our own fear of not being good enough.
The simple antidote to this frustrating and joyless way of life is to begin (right now) to live our lives in a way that, every choice we make is designed to pleases ourselves. For those who constantly live to garner other's approval, this may sound selfish and self-centered, yet we soon see that; when we act out of a wisdom that brings joy to ourselves, we automatically begin to please everyone around us as well. We also begin to notice that, when the choices we make stem from our own deep integrity, and the bliss of following what's right for us, we begin to care less and less if other's approve of what we do.
The moment we begin to stop caring about what others think of us, or trying to please them, we find ourselves living carefree, with a greater joy and lightness in all of our actions. We see clearly that, living our lives trying to please others is a dead-end street. We might win someones approval for awhile, but there will surely come a time when we will do something that they will not approve of. Freedom comes when we begin to 'divinely care-less' what other people think of us, and simply live from the deep joy in our own hearts, a joy that always knows exactly what we need to do to please ourselves.
"You can't please everyone.
You've got to please yourself."