Any article that quotes the Stoic philosopher Epictetus and talks about the importance of being yourself is a winner.
When we are ourselves, we have value. When we are like everyone else…we are fungible. We are replaceable–by definition. We have little value…by definition.
BE YOU. Be the only one of you in the whole world. Be the red. That’s where the fun is (without having to fake it). That’s where the money is (you can name your price). That’s where the value is (you can’t be replaced).
Two thousand years before Peter Thiel said that, “competition is for losers,” Epictetus quipped that, “You can always win if you only enter competitions where winning is up to you.”
Too many people pointlessly enter contests where the outcome is dependent on forces outside their control. They think it’s safer to be like everyone else…when in fact, what they’re really doing is hiding themselves in the chorus, protecting themselves from judgment. They’re less likely to be singled out and laughed at, sure, but they’re guaranteeing that they’ll never really be noticed or appreciated. Theirs becomes the Indian restaurant that will never be great, but it will never be closed. That is the best you can expect when you’re not playing to win…you’re playing not to lose.