Beauty Is Within Your Grasp

“Then what makes a beautiful human being? Isn’t it the presence of human excellence? Young friend, if you wish to be beautiful, then work diligently at human excellence. And what is that? Observe those whom you praise without prejudice. The just or the unjust? The just. The self-controlled or the uncontrolled? The self-controlled. In making yourself that kind of person, you will become beautiful — but to the extent you ignore these qualities, you’ll be ugly, even if you use every trick in the book to appear beautiful.”


Everyone is chasing beauty these days, aren’t they? They use makeup and other inventions in clever ways, to disguise the unattractive parts of their bodies. They use other contraptions to appear more beautiful than they really are. And all of it trying to achieve an ideal that is completely outside of their grasp.

What if being beautiful was something you could control? And not just with deception or masking the undesirable? What if beauty was based on making good choices, and focusing on virtue and right behavior?

Great news! True beauty is within your grasp. It is something you can control, because it comes from within. And if we’re being honest, that’s something we all learned from Disney long ago, isn’t it? It shines from the inside, and that’s the one area of our lives that we do have control over. This is the point made in today’s quote from The Daily Stoic.

For some reason we say that attractive people have a specific set of physical features: certain measurements, gorgeous eyes, long lovely hair, and other genetic gifts. All of them out of our control. Why don’t we admit that that is only skin-deep and that real beauty originates inside us and emanates outward — and that it comes from a daily focus on excellence in our focus and our choices.

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