"Years ago I preferred clever people. There was a joy in beholding a mind bearing thoughts quickly translated into words, or ideas expressed in a new way. I find now that my taste has changed. Verbal fireworks often bore me. They seem motivated by self-assertion and self-display. I now prefer another type of person; one who is considerate, understanding of others, careful not to break down another person’s self-respect. My preferred person today is one who is always aware of the needs of others, or their pain and fear and unhappiness, and their search for self-respect. I once liked clever people. Now I like good people."
So that's one of my favorite quotes. Whenever I get caught up in the vicious cycle of trying to be clever/funny --> not being that clever/funny --> wounded self-esteem cause I'm not that clever/funny --> trying to save flagging self-esteem by trying harder to be clever/funny, I like to fall back on this quote to remember the kind of person I really want to be. I do still enjoy clever people very much, and I think they occupy a special place in the world. But I also believe the world at this point could probably use more good people.
And the best part is, I think it's much easier to be good. It feels more within my reach.