Putting up a picture of a sunrise at 6am is a subtle flex. The sunrise is beautiful but it’s also “Look at me, I’m up hours before you, you pathetic slime!”. As your followers look at it from the comfort of their beds now feeling lazier than ever they still give you your pathetic like, your virtual pat on the back.
There is no part of me that finds this behaviour peculiar. I’ve done it. It feels good to do good things and to be recognised for these efforts. You level up your brain and the validation from others helps you to feel as if your journey has significance. It’s not healthy but it feels good. Doing something in return for praise can be a great catalyst for action but it doesn’t promote long lasting productive change.
Instead of looking for recognition for your good behaviour, seek to inspire others. You can do the same things but your focus will be different. “I’m videoing my workout not so that you can admire my cute butt but so that you will hopefully try some of these exercises and get a cute butt for yourself!”. This will hopefully change how you process the final package and send it into the world.
Jocko Willink is a retired Navy Seal officer who uses his experience to teach others how to lead. His Instagram feed is notorious for his early morning rise, a picture of his watch uploaded at 0430am every morning, religiously. (I only see it live because of the time difference in Australia.). Accompanied by a succinct motivational message e.g. “It’s on you.”
The difference with Willink is that he isn’t uploading a selfie of his Hazelnut Latte complete with #blessed. This is a call to fucking action. That you make your day count, that you earn what you want, that you execute the plan that you have, that you don’t lie in bed and waste your opportunity. Not ‘me’.
Looking for recognition is weak. Seeking to inspire change in others is strong.