Is Pride a Virtue or a Vice?
Like most things in life…it depends on the context in which it is used, so let’s have a look.
Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two antithetical meanings.
With a negative vice connotation, pride refers to a foolishly and irrationally corrupt sense of one’s personal value, status or accomplishments, used synonymously with arrogance and conceit.
With a positive virtuous connotation, pride refers to a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or skills that are widely admired.
For the purposes of this message…try to forget about the idea of pride as a deadly sin, and consider how it motivates virtuous behavior.
PRIDE IS POWERFUL
I have a simple philosophy on life which can be summarized in seven words…If you’re not proud, you’re not done.
No one can really be happy in any area of their life, nor be considered a success if they do not take pride in what they do, if they do not consistently demonstrate excellence, and if they do not consciously and consistently work to elevate their performance.
Every departure from principle, integrity, excellence and pride causes a loss of self-respect, and contaminates your character while undermining your results and future opportunities.
Remember…if you’re not proud, you’re not done.
Every time we obey and honor the inward law of doing right we hear an inward approval, we strengthen our soul and personal constitution, and we build on our reputation with ourselves and others.
Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after having done a superb piece of work, how much more you think of yourself, how it tones up and fortifies your whole character?
What a thrill you feel when contemplating your work, the work upon which you have put the very best that was in you, the very best of which you were capable.
In a world which seems to focus on the negatives of shame and regret, we should all elevate our game and focus on doing things which we can take great pride in.
That’s why I challenge you to live your life by this motto…If you’re not proud, you’re not done.
Whatever it is…find the strength, conviction and character to do what needs to be done until it fills you with immense pride.
Live a life that makes you proud of yourself…so completely and immensely proud.
If you don’t put your heart into your activities, if you hand in incomplete work as finished, if you don’t do your best every time you start something, then you’re doing yourself a tremendous disservice. Be mindful that…if you’re not proud, you’re not done.
This doesn’t mean that you have to win the race, secure every promotion, or be named Parent of the Year, but at least you’ll know, in your heart, that you’ve done your best…and that’s something to be proud of.
Taking pride in one’s work, behavior and results is a personal commitment. It’s an empowering attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity as well as a powerful demonstration of self-respect and self-confidence.
THINK ABOUT IT…why do anything half-heartedly if you have the ability to do it extremely well?
If you don’t do your best…you’re only developing bad habits, damaging your reputation, and letting yourself and the people who depend on your efforts down.
Plus, you’re betraying your potential and robbing yourself of the rewards that you truly deserve.
I’ve been working on this special project for some time now, and consider it one of the best resources in the world for teaching people the art of self-reliance and how to take their destiny into their own very capable hands.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What are you most proud of accomplishing in the past 100 days?
These questions call for, in fact they demand self-reflection, introspection and the pursuit of a goal which you can take pride in.
You have what it takes to be a superstar…but it’ll still take hard, consistent work to become a smashing success.
That means setting big challenging goals, having high standards, focusing on priorities, and sticking with it until you can be immensely proud of your effort, because in the end…if you’re not proud, you’re not done.
Gary Ryan Blair