Someone once said, 'Live to express, not to impress. Don't strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.' How powerfully apt!
I find myself the least happiest when I try to impress others and gain approval from people whose opinions don't really matter anyway. But I do find myself the most fulfilled when I'm expressing myself in a way that's true to me and the way I was made. That's when I am most authentic and genuine and at ease. There's no conflict or tension or insecurity. Live to express, not to impress.
The problem with our world is that all of us are too busy wasting away our precious time and skills and opportunities trying to impress others and appear more successful and more talented, more capable and more creative than the next person we know. Imagine if we actually quit trying to appear greater than we actually are, wouldn't life be so much freer and simpler?
It's a competitive world we live in. Now more than ever. Competition is necessary. But let not being first and being the greatest be our utmost goal. Achievement does not define us. The impression we give others does not make us who we are on the inside - though it does give others a glimpse of what we value in life, be it good or bad, transient or immutable, temporal or eternal.
However, once you get past giving off the good first impression, I think people no longer want to see you impress them as much as they now want to see you express your identity and thoughts and abilities in an authentic and genuine way. Never live to impress. It will only lead to a false sense of security and fashion you a temporary facade that'll peel off in no time. It will also breed pride and take away the original joy you have in living and in doing what you love, while connecting with others in a heartfelt way.
So never live simply to flaunt your accomplishments, instead live life to express your true personality and thoughts and passions. In the end that's what people will remember you for anyway.
~ j a n i e ll e