The Product of What Others Want

Aaron Pace
4 min readJul 2, 2023
Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

It’s 4:00 am again. I rarely need an alarm to wake me at that hour anymore.

4 or 5 hours of sleep is never enough, but I’m awake.

With my headlamp fully charged and snug around my skull, I enjoy a run at that unholy hour a few times a week.

I’m generally home, prepped for the day, and on my way to the office before much of the area where I live has woken up.

I work hard at my day job, falling a little bit further behind in my workload each day.

Someday, maybe, we’ll hire some extra help, if there’s help to be hired.

Until then, I do the work of three people.

I rarely say no, and that’s my biggest problem.

Being a people pleaser is a fool’s errand. It’s taken me a lot of years to learn that lesson. Even knowing the lesson, however, I continue trying to please as many people as I can.

In the short term, being a people pleaser makes people like you, but in the long run it’s damaging to relationships, mental health, and the ability to get stuff done.

So much stuff.

Work is important as a means to provide for the basic necessities of life, but it can also be a leach: something that will suck every ounce of energy you’re willing to give it.

Employment doesn’t stand alone in that category. You ever spend time with friends when all you really needed was to go to bed an hour early? The list of social engagements and family pressures will grow unbounded if you let it.

Darius Foroux said it best:

In our endless quest to please the people in our lives, we become the product of what others want.

It’s a punchy one-liner but it doesn’t stand alone on its own merits. Society exists because of people who are willing to sacrifice something of themselves for the greater good of humanity. If everyone spent all their time in selfish pursuits, societies could not function.

It should be apparent. Balance is required, but balance isn’t easy.

Several years ago, I attended a presentation where the presenter entered the stage…



Aaron Pace

Married to my best friend. Father to five exuberant children. Fledgling entrepreneur. Writer. Software developer. Inventory management expert.