A nobleman imitates the king’s, the queen’s and the princess’s expressions and demeanour in the hope that what they do and represent will also make him satisfied.

''Once upon a time, there was a man who was driven by ideals, which meant he was not satisfied.''

The notion of being driven by ideals

To be externally driven. To imitate others’ thinking and demeanour. The notion that the people we admire have the ‘right’ behaviour, which we copy, ­mindlessly and without critical reflection.

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When we were children, our parents were the ­ideals we followed. In school, it might have been a particularly warm and competent ­teacher. Now, it might be a pop idol, a leader, a boyfriend/girlfriend, a life partner or­someone else we look up to. To live a life that is externally determined by the lifestyle and behaviours of our role models is a maladaptive continuation of the way of being in the world that characterized our early childhood. Nevertheless, it is ­something we all do to a certain extent, even as adults. Particularly during ­development ­periods, we often absorb significant transitional objects (idealized others) into our self. That is a natural phenomenon that helps shape us as persons. Idealized others are role models who can serve as inspiration and promote our ­development. Ideally, they help us to become more knowledgeable while remaining just as original as we were when we came into the world. Mindlessly copying and imitating the life and ­behaviour of our ideals is a futile project that will only promote inner emptiness, sorrow and dissatisfaction.


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