“Look at me!” the glory-hound says.

And really, who can blame them? It’s normal and healthy to want to be seen, even recognized. Why would we expect anything else from a bonding mammal? We all want to have our pack, to know that we belong.

That desire to be seen gets amplified by a world obsessed with image. Then it’s juiced up on the crack cocaine of social media. We can measure, track, and to some extent manipulate our level of visibility. Not so subtly, we learn that the Good Life belongs to those who are seen and known. We may even feel twinges of sadness if our lives seem obscure and hidden.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can play the “I’m a contribution” game instead of the “I am my likes” game. That means we turn our attention from ourselves and give it instead to those around us. We actively work for the benefit of those in our circle.

The question, then, isn’t “will people see me and be impressed?” It’s “am I being a contribution to those around me?” When the answer is yes, we can live free from the grip of that need for approval and visibility. We can live with joy.

Be bright