That is what scripture says. How old is this scripture? Let’s just say extremely old. Timeless. I believe that it is 100% indisputably true.
For it was my desire and inclination to demonstrate my intelligence and wisdom, my skills and experience, my economic power and the material things I acquired that did me in.
Pride was the first, and by far the biggest mistake I ever made.
The downfall of many people, including leaders in all walks of life, is that early successes begin to inflate their egos.
The trappings and power of an executive office lulled me into a false sense of security. I began to believe that I was superior to other people and institutions, and that I could do no wrong.
Here is my prescription for dealing with pride and arrogance, for what it’s worth.
- Never forget your roots. We all came into the world buck naked. We all depended on someone to give us life, and to sustain it. Some of us came from really humble beginnings. In your mind, come back to that organic period of humility and let it wash over you to center and bring you back to reality.
- Don’t think yourself invincible or infallible. We all make mistakes. Acknowledge them, face them, learn from them, and move on. Don’t justify and rationalize mistakes into acceptable behavior.
- Become more black and white in your thinking about what is right behavior and what is wrong and unacceptable. Once you start to see the world in shades of gray, you think you can hop in and out of the gray areas of life at will and cannot get into trouble. Pride creeps in and convinces you of this.
- Don’t place yourself above anything or anyone. Everyone has value. Red is not better than blue or purple. In fact, purple is the combination of red and blue. They are all colors with a valuable place in this world.
- Look in the mirror. Literally, a real mirror. Do it figuratively as well. Introspect. Nightly, weekly, quarterly, and annually. What is going right. What is not so right. Take inventory. Take that inventory and use it to continuously improve.
- Don’t TRY to be humble. Humble is not something you DO. It is something you BECOME and ARE. Humility is a by product of a life well lived. Once you say you are HUMBLE, guess what? You are not.
An ancient script says, “Pride goes before destruction” and it behooves people, and leaders with a propensity towards egoism, to tattoo that on their forearms.
This is a never ending battle with me. That’s just the way it is…