To Feel Known

“Instead of being concerned that you have no office, be concerned to think how you may fit yourself for office. Instead of being concerned that you are not known, seek to be worthy of being known.”


“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

Mark Twain

I think one of the big reasons we are drawn to social media is the desire to be known, and all the associated feelings and desires that come along with it. At a fundamental level, to be known is to be heard. To be someone who matters.

When you are lonely, or in pain or different, the lie we tell ourselves is we don’t matter.

No one is seeing us, therefore we aren’t worth being seen. Some people collapse inward. Others lash out (which can be in a million different ways). But we all tend to be drawn to groups, tribes, communities where we feel heard, or at least feel useful and valuable. People like us. Whatever that looks like for you. Navy SEALs. Entrepreneurs. Artists. Athletes. Dog lovers. Weirdos. Zoom yoga chats. People you just met who like the same jokes you like. We all want to belong and feel a part of something.

Making someone feel like they belong is one of the greatest gifts you can give anyone.

It doesn’t take much. Just let them speak and give your complete attention and interest. Be curious about what they like and don’t like. Don’t worry about what you are going to say. Listen to what they are saying.

But what about yourself? What about me?

To be known is to be yourself. Forget what everyone else is telling you to be.

Forget the 20 habits I find helpful and enjoy doing. Forget the habits and routines of the people you respect and look up to. Instead, build the habits that work for you. Maybe they are similar, but the key is they don’t have to be. It’s up to you to experiment and figure out what works for you and discard the rest. Maybe reading and drawing is what gets me in the right mind space but for you its a morning run. That’s good. Stick to it. Be open and try out mine and see if they work for you too. (The same goes for me with yours) But if drawing or writing every day turns out not to be your thing, that’s perfectly reasonable.

To be yourself when everyone wants you to be them is true strength.

To be known is also to care about yourself. Finding friends and family to share life with is what’s life is about. But you don’t need the approval of others to be known and the be someone who matters. You already are. You matter to yourself. That’s all that matters. Once you realize that, it doesn’t matter if you are alone on a desert island—you love who you are and what your dreams are. And then you have the power to share that with someone else.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #907

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