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Self-esteem is the key
Quit the rat race by loving yourself unconditionally
We can start on the surface level by:
Stopping mindless shopping.
Choosing a job that’s enjoyable rather than prestigious.
Working out for health and enjoyment, not just for looks.
But if we engage in these actions without breaking the mental ties between our possessions, accomplishments, habits, or appearance and our self-worth, then we're still playing the same status game. Now we're just taking the moral high ground with our supposedly superior choices.
Instead, it's by cultivating unconditional love for ourselves that we can completely let go of the correlation between our surface-level lives and our value as human beings. Only then do we free ourselves from the need for external validation.
And this is when the actions listed above become natural and effortless.