Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.

What did Epictetus mean by:

Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.

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This quote speaks to the importance of self-awareness and authenticity. It suggests that before we can present ourselves to the world, we first need to understand who we are at our core. We need to understand our values, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Only then can we “adorn” ourselves, or express ourselves to the world, in a way that is true to who we are.

The “adornment” referred to in this quote is not about physical appearance or material possessions. Instead, it refers to the way we conduct ourselves, the choices we make, the paths we follow, and the way we interact with others. It’s about behaving in a way that reflects our true self, rather than trying to fit into a certain mold or meet societal expectations.

In today’s world, this idea is more relevant than ever. We live in a society that often encourages conformity and pressures us to fit into certain standards. Social media, for example, can often make us feel like we need to look a certain way, have certain things, or live a certain lifestyle in order to be accepted or valued. This quote reminds us that it’s more important to stay true to ourselves than to conform to these external pressures.

In terms of personal development, this quote emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and self-acceptance. It suggests that personal growth starts with understanding who we are and accepting ourselves, with all our strengths and weaknesses. It also encourages us to express our true selves in all areas of our lives, rather than trying to be someone we’re not. This can lead to a more fulfilling life, as we’re living in alignment with our true selves, rather than constantly trying to meet external expectations.

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