May 8th, 2008
“History is bunk.” – Henry Ford
Aside from a pride of lions – there are two types of pride. One is essential to your success; the other a harbinger of doom.
In the positive sense of the word – pride means self-respect or dignity. You have a healthy and helpful attitude about who you are or what you’ve accomplished.
By healthy and helpful I do NOT mean a smug or gloating expression. Healthy and helpful pride is gratitude for what you’ve accomplished while realizing you are still human and therefore still prone to mistakes and failure. You realize that a very fine line separates a winning state of mind from that of the loser.
Therefore, when you succeed, you do not celebrate insanely – nor do you cop an attitude of superiority to others. This is a tough thing to do, especially if you are inundated with praise after an accomplishment of great magnitude. It is also difficult if you perform before a crowd in anyway.
If you succeed before a good number of people and praises are being sung to you from high and low – it is at that very moment that you are most vulnerable to the wrong kind of pride.
It takes exceptional character to allow praise to come your way as you smile, take it in – then, most importantly, redirect the energy. Failure to recirculate the praise dooms many whom otherwise would have gone on to succeed again and again.
One of the greatest lessons I learned from Dan Gable can be seen in the quote below:
“There is no mat space for malcontents or dissenters. One must neither celebrate insanely when he wins, nor sulk when he loses. He accepts victory professionally and humbly; he hates defeat, but makes no poor display of it.”
Yes, it’s great to let yourself feel good after a victory. It’s also important that you immediately set another goal that keeps your mind focused on the journey.
Use your previous successes as stepping stones to a brighter future. View your previous victories and the energy they contain in your mental movie theatre – but don’t for one moment think that your winning moments are YOU. They are not YOU. They are nothing but experience to be used for the positive.
The same goes with your mistakes, failures and losses. They are not YOU either. Like your victories, mistakes are lessons to help you learn and grow.
Keep in mind the three magical words uttered by Henry Ford at the beginning of today’s message: “History is bunk.”
These words will help keep you honest with your true self.