Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Don't Be Like Patrick

Pump 66
Originally uploaded by Pete Zarria

" There is a difference between conceit and confidence. Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done." ~ Johnny Unitas

When I was just a kid, there was a boy my brothers and I knew named Patrick and he was known throughout our very small land for one thing: being a braggart.

Patrick had better and shinier toys than we. Patrick had better parents than we. Patrick knew more than we did. Patrick was stronger than we were. Patrick was faster than we were. Patrick had more promise than we did. Patrick was better looking than we were. How did we know this? Well, he told us of course. I used to get very annoyed when Patrick would come around because of this personality flaw.

I think all of us probably knew someone like Patrick. I'm hoping as we've grown older we know fewer people like Patrick. For that matter, I'm hoping Patrick has grown out of his need for boasting.

Sometimes we come across Patrick and he hasn't grown out of it, don't we? The self professed expert who just wants your money. The self professed guru who will show you how to get thousands of followers in no time on Twitter. The self professed successful businessman who, well, is more than happy to let you know he is more successful than you will ever be.

Here's the point: Don't be like Patrick. Ever.

A few tips on making sure you never turn into Patrick.

  • Help others.
  • Compliment others (genuinely of course) when you see the opportunity.
  • Learn to be genuinely happy for the success of others.
  • Lay aside your pride.
  • Learn to share and share often.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others in an effort to look good.
  • Realize you can do wrong. You do make mistakes.
  • Abstain from an exaggerated self-esteem.
  • When in conversation with someone else, keep the conversation about them as much as possible. Ask questions and genuinely listen to the answers. It will be hard to focus on yourself when you're doing this.
  • Give as often as you can. In other words, be selfless, not selfish.
If you're truly as great as you think you are, others will do the talking for you. There will be no need to tell everyone.

"When boasting ends, there dignity begins." ~ Owen D. Young

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