As kids, we are highly influenced by our peers. We want to hang out with the “cool crowd” so we do as the cool kids do.
As adults, we believe we’re impervious to peer pressure. We’re “grown-ups” after all, and grown-ups don’t let others sway their actions.
Yet we’re more influenced by our contemporaries in adulthood than we are in childhood. Because, as in childhood, we want to fit in. We don’t want to stand out. We don’t want to look different. And we don’t want to make waves.
However, this keeps us from becoming our best. Giving in to pressure from your peers (or striving to fit in) leads you to develop/maintain habits that lead you away from health and fitness and toward unhappiness and unrest.
In other words, if you want to live a life of your own, a life of healthfulness, fulfillment, and gratitude, you must step away from the crowd and have the courage to be your own. Or, as Marcus Aurelius puts it, you must stand up straight, not straightened.