I am listening to The Scout Mindset by Julia Galef, a book that makes a case against motivated reasoning and argues for a more honest view on our thinking.

Quote from chapter 3:

We overestimate the importance of how we come across to other people, social costs […] feel a lot more significant than they actually are.
In reality, other people aren’t thinking about you nearly as much as you intuitively think they are, and their opinions on you don’t have nearly as much impact on your life as it feels like they do.
As a result, we end up making tragic trade offs, sacrificing a lot of potential happiness to avoid relatively small social costs.

I’ve been thinking about this quote.

I’ve suffered from being too mindful of what others might think. But in the end this attitude didn’t make me happy.

For example, I’ve had a secure job as a civil servant. A job for life.
But I am much more happy solving problems with code.
Leaving a position as a tax officer in Germany is basically insane because of all the benefits of being a public servant.

I decided to do it anyway. And in the end, a lot of people didn’t think me crazy.
And I also realized that their opinions really do not matter much in the grand scheme of things.

That is not an argument to be an asshole, but an argument to take care of yourself.

Further Reading