Henry David Thoreau said, “If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.” Not only is this great advice for dealing gently with what other people want to do, say, or think, but these words are also about our own self-reliance. Be sure you’re stepping to the music you hear—no matter what other people think. My understanding of the 13th verse of the Tao Te Ching is this: it’s crucial to remain independent of both the positive and negative opinions of other people. If you gain their approval, you’ll become a slave to outside words of praise. If you gain disfavor, you’ll spend your life trying to change other people’s minds about you. Either way, you lose your selfhood. If you want to follow your passion, be independent of the good opinion of others. Give yourself permission to two-step, march, waltz, or boogie to your own beat.
– Wayne Dyer