“People aren’t in awe of your sharp mind? So be it. But you have many other qualities you can’t claim to have been deprived of at birth. Display then those qualities in your own power: honesty, dignity, endurance, chastity, contentment, frugality, kindness, freedom, persistence, avoiding gossip, and magnanimity.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 5.5
We can’t control what aptitudes or characteristics we were born with. That’s entirely out of our hands. Tall or short. Beautiful or plain. Quick at math or a natural on the sportsfield. Artistically- or musically-gifted. These are all things that we generally can’t decide for ourselves.
You can’t choose to be the cleverest person in the room. So what?
What you can control is how you develop yourself over time, what you learn, and what you choose to focus on. And you can show people what you’re working on.
If you’ve chosen to work on being more resilient (maybe by reading The Daily Stoic and this website), then demonstrate your resiliency when times take a turn for the worse.
If you have chosen to try your hardest at living a life full of virtue, then let your light shine when given the opportunity.
If you’ve realized that choosing to be kind benefits you too, then demonstrate that kindness every chance you get!
Whatever you’ve chosen to work on, display the fruits of your efforts, to the benefit of everyone around you. Show what you’ve learned, and don’t be shy!