Finding A Cure for I Disease
The 21-year-old rookie cop had his big chance to brag on himself at his big news conference. "How do you feel about being the one to capture Eric Rudolph, FBI's Most Wanted?" the reporter asked. The young man's reply: "I was just doing my job, sir. It was all in a day's work." I was struck by this young man's humility, a rare quality in our narcissistic, "me, me, me" world.
EPIDEMIC OF THE "I" DISEASE
Benjamin Franklin devised a week-by-week plan to improve his character by working on thirteen virtues. Franklin's sharp focus, meticulous record-keeping, and diligent work yielded improvements in the first twelve virtues ? temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, tranquility, cleanliness, and chastity. However, he found that every time he began to make progress in developing humility, he got proud of it!
I think we all have a touch of the "I Disease". I even had the delightful experience of observing it in the animal kingdom last weekend. During an afternoon trip to the zoo with my granddaughter Scarlett, we watched two male peacocks vying for the attention of a single seemingly disinterested female, spreading their gorgeous feathers and adding to the display by shaking them toward her when she came near.Five-year-old Scarlett commented, "Girls sometimes ignore boys when they're showing out!" Anyway, these guys strutted proudly, each trying to outdo the other. There was no humility to be found in this competitive display. How similar to the way we humans often behave!
Recently, while reading the book "A Love Worth Giving" by Max Lucado, I was challenged to acknowledge my own selfishness. Take the test with me. You look at a group photo that includes you. Does your liking of the picture depend on whether you look good, no matter how everyone else looks? If others are cross-eyed and have spinach in their teeth and you still like the picture, you probably have a bad case of it! Like me, you may be due for an "I checkup."
(Hopefully we aren't quite as afflicted with it as Ted Turner, who is quoted as saying, "If I only had a little more humility, I'd be perfect.") Humility does not mean that you become a passive doormat who doesn't stand up for what is right. In fact, genuinely humble people are psychologically secure. They are free to respect others and themselves. They have no need to prove their worth.
THREE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRIDE AND HUMILITY
True humility leads to wisdom and ends in honor. Conversely, narcissism and pride produce stymied personal growth, disturbed relationships, and an eventual fall.
Benjamin Whichcote said, "None are so empty as those who are full of themselves."
Which of these characteristics describe you?
1. Are you arrogant, or are you confident?
Do your attitudes and actions indicate that you see yourself above others? Do you act like a know-it-all who is never wrong?
Or are you confident enough to listen and take correction? William Safire said, "Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected."
Do you believe in yourself enough to tackle new and difficult tasks, honestly appreciating your own talents while fully acknowledging your need for the help of others?
Peter Marshall summed up this aspect of humility when he prayed, "Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with."
2. Are you concerned with who is right, or with what is right?
Do you find it hard to let go of an argument until you have "won"? (Note: If you "win", you haven't. It's not over!) Are you upset when someone challenges your knowledge or authority? Do you have a sense of entitlement, believing that your wants have priority and sulking or exploding when others don't believe the same?
Or do you focus on principles (not just your own)? Do you look for the truth in all perspectives and work to put together a solution that works for all? Do you take responsibility for improving the situations in which you find yourself?
Swallow your pride occasionally; it's not non-fattening!
3. Which is more important to you ? status or service?
Do you crave public recognition for your good deeds? How important are titles to you? Do you bristle when someone fails to recognize your achievements or status?
Biblical wisdom and modern scientific management research confirm the same principle: the person who would lead must become a servant.
Are you habitually looking for ways to serve others...equipping and enabling them become all they can be? Is helping people your heartfelt motivation?
In closing, I invite you to reflect with me on these thoughts from Max Lucado: "If I think that you are more important than I am, and you think I am more important than you are, and he thinks she is more important than he is, and she think she is more important than she is?then in the end everyone feels important, but no one acts important."
You know, I think that could work!
Dr. Bev Smallwood is a psychologist who has worked with organizations across the globe for over 20 years. Her high-energy, high-content, high-involvement Magnetic Workplaces (r) programs provide dozens of practical strategies and skills that can be put to work immediately to:
Review a complete list of her programs available for your convention or corporate meeting at the website, www.MagneticWorkplaces.com
Self Confidence: How To Build Your Confidence In Three Simple Steps
To Feel Confident ? A C T
Motivation: The Power of Celebration
The Ultimate Kick-butt Motivational Lesson
How often have you struggled with yourself over the work that needs to be done? How many times have you put off performing some task or other because it's too mundane?
Questions for the Game of Life
"If you could eliminate one day from your past so that you never had to live through it, what day would you erase?"
Learn to Do What Winners Do But Others Will Not
If you want to be a winner you have to be prepared to develop a certain personal trait which others will not.
Action vs. Apathy - Feeling Powerless? Get Moving!
How many times have you felt truly defeated by the circumstances in your life? You know, the "I don't know why I bother to keep trying, I'm going back to bed and staying there" feeling. It happens to everyone - housewives, corporate executives, rock stars, actors, world leaders. Each and every one of us has had a day when we felt that we just weren't able to cope with our daily lives.
Top 4 Reasons Women Ride The ?Emotional Roller-Coaster?
1. Women have learned and are in the habit of being driven by the approval of others. Most women allow the expectations of others to define them and therefore making the approval of others is responsible for their happiness. This pattern gives others' the power to make and take your happiness at any time. Approval seeking steals your happiness and doesn't allow you to ever get to know yourself, your wants, your desires, or your needs. A total disconnect. Thus an up and down roller-coaster of emotions. Not a pleasant way to live.
One Last Month to Make it Count!
Can you believe it, summer is almost over. Did you get to accomplish everything you planned? Did life sneak up on you, such as unexpected bills, a loss of a job or did your situation change? Well, the busiest 2 months of summer are over, with literally weeks until school starts up again. There's a lot of juggling finances as you finish off your summer trips, buy school clothes and rush to the store to buy up all the school supplies you can get your hands on. For the kids the hustle and bustle has just begun, but for the single parent this is just a normal month. How often do we have a busy month like this and we don't think twice about it. It's a regular routine for us, we work, we buy, and we're broke. There's no "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it. We work hard, play less and fall into an eternal cycle of Single Parenting. Half the time we don't know which end is up, just as long as those kids are fed, the bills are paid and we can get to work on time.
How to Use the Power of Words to Your Benefit
Someone I know maintains that "motivational words are great coming from philosophers, but that's because they're not in the real world." The power of words can be an incredible aid to helping us remain motivated and focused.
Make Motivation Stick
Motivation is the elusive elixir. Not only does it help people do good work, and do it faster, but it also helps them feel good about it while they're doing it. Yet motivation always seems temporary, fleeting. We call a meeting, bring in a motivational speaker, and fire up the team. Yet, we know it won't last.
The Thrivers Secrets to Success?: It Starts With Your Attitude - Get a Grip and GoŽ!
What impact would it have on your professional and personal life if you could learn the secret of successful living known by about 25% of the people? Think about that for a minute and even pause right now and write some thoughts down. How would your life be different if you operated like a "thriver" - a person who thrives and flourishes no matter what life throws at him or her?
A Special Q & A - All About Passionately Soaring in Life
1. How do I discover my passion?
Nothing To Lose
I stormed out of the office and headed for the patio area in front of my office building. It was October 2003, and everybody knew what happened. Ever since our division consolidated in February 2002, there had been more "closed door" conversations than ever, and when they involved me, I usually came out angry. This time I was madder than ever. I was sick of the office politics, sick of the cliques, sick of people sneaking around the rules ? and you can only take all of that being sick so long before you explode. After complaining to my supervisor for the umpteenth time about the state of affairs, we both cracked. I told her I was disappointed at the lack of morals and integrity, and she told me that I needed to just shut up and get professional help for depression if that's what it took to quit complaining. Here is the ironic part: I have a degree in psychology.
Whats Your Zipline?
A few years ago, I was with 20 of America's most effective presenters ? The Speakers Roundtable ? at the Pecos River Conference Center near Sante Fe, NM. We were working on our communication skills, not unlike the work we do in our own Excellence in Speaking Institute (ESI) classes.
Read All the Books
All of the books that we will ever need to make us as rich, as healthy, as happy, as powerful, as sophisticated and as successful as we want to be have already been written.
The Toughest Decision of All: Get Out or Get Going!
Many of us are influenced by the sports ethic: Never give up! When a basketball team is down by 20 with 30 seconds on the clock, the players never stop working. Spectators might be filing out, and the winning team might be deep into the bench, but the game goes on.
Have You Just Hit The Wall?
Have you hit the 'brick wall' yet?
Why Idle Hands Create Stagnation in Our Lives
You've probably heard the phrase, "Idle hands are the devil's tools" -- meaning if you don't have something to keep you busy, you're likely to get into trouble. That can be argued of course, since the intent to cause trouble probably has to be present also.
If we want to fill our heads with the doom and gloom society seems to thrive on, all we need to do is turn on the local news at night. To make that quantum leap toward personal happiness and success in life, sometimes we just need to do what so many people seem to be talking about lately: "clean house" and take personal inventory of the people we associate with most.
If You Are Rejected!
This article exemplifies the inner working of emotional intelligence. Effectively working through one tough situation at a time can build our emotional competence... dealing with rejection is one such tough situation. This article fits under Goleman's second level EQ: Self-management (as I manage my own emotions inside of rejection) AND under Goleman's third level EQ: Social Competence (as I use empathy to understand the rejecter.
|home | site map|