You all know me here at Clever Dude as one who is willing to admit defeat and admit when he’s wrong. Maybe it’s my way of copping out, but I’m not too proud to admit that someone else is smarter than I am, or that I just did something stupid. It may not be immediate, as my wife knows, but I eventually always tell the truth.
This article is about more than just money. It’s about everything you do in your life. From choosing the right college, or not going at all; from deciding on a car, or a house, or having kids. What do all those things have in common? They are big decisions. And what is the biggest risk to any of them?
Don’t think of pride as just cheering loudly for your team from the bleachers. Don’t limit pride to just those elite snots walking around with their noses in the air. Pride invades every part of our lives, and even the most humble of folks is subject to prideful thinking.
Not all prideful thoughts are bad, though. They’re what drives competition and entrepeneurship. If everyone was humble, perhaps we would be too shy to speak up to get things done. But pride has a dark and ugly side. Perhaps you just transferred money to and from the wrong accounts, but instead of admitting your mistake to your spouse or to the bank, you try to hide it. Maybe you argue with the teller that it wasn’t your fault and you shouldn’t have gotten those overdraft charges. You’re ashamed of your mistakes because they show that you are weak.
Or maybe you just lost your job at the restaurant or factory. You don’t want anyone to know so you keep the facade that you’re still working. But I’ll let you in on a little secret…
We’re all weak.
We all make dumb, stupid mistakes.
Our mistakes are what makes Youtube and America’s Funniest Home Videos so enjoyable and enthralling. The question that you must ask yourself is “How can I learn from my mistakes rather than trying to cover them up?“. You can spend time pushing them under the rug or stuffing them into a dark corner of your mind, but until you live up to your mistakes, they’ll haunt you. And they’ll keep piling up until your heart and soul can’t take the beating any longer and you collapse in a nervous breakdown.
Wow, powerful isn’t it? But that’s what pride does to us. It prevents us from looking at our mistakes from the perspective of a student; to learn what we did wrong, why it went wrong, and how to avoid that mistake in the future. We need to appear strong in front of our 50-person project team, or as the head of our family, or as the star quarterback on the high school team, right? They won’t respect you if you don’t appear strong, true?
But people will respect and admire you more when they trust you to be honest, forthcoming, and to show that you’re able to learn. You can either spend your life hiding your secret goof-ups, or you can be a life-long student of your own and others’ blunders.
Which will it be?