Last week, we explored the genius within us all. To peer within oneself and find genius and goodness can be a vulnerable journey, fraught with insecurities and deception.
But if you press on and find what your true strengths and talents are, there’s a different danger lurking around that corner. It’s the danger of pride.
Pride can lead to our own destruction. The ancient Hebrew proverb reminds us that “Pride goes before destruction; a haughty spirit before a fall.” Why is this?
Pride is a deep satisfaction in one’s own achievements. Now, this isn’t always a bad thing. I’ve done work I’m truly proud of. I worked hard, applied myself, and the results were something in which I found satisfaction.
The danger in my pride is in its focus: ME. The work was mine. The skills are mine. The talent. . . all mine. Unchecked, my pride in my achievement becomes an adrenaline filled bender and I start to think I’m the most amazing thing ever.
Rather than reject our genius for fear of our own pride,
rather than view ourselves as superhuman,
a healthier approach is to practice gratitude. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful. It’s a readiness to show appreciation. It shifts the focus from ourselves to a more humble and thankful acknowledgment that our talents, skills, and opportunities are gifts to be stewarded, not pawns in the game of life. None of us are purely self-made. We have been shaped, influenced, taught, developed and gifted by others. If pride can lead us to selfishness, gratitude leads us to honor others: God, family, friends, coworkers, mentors, teachers, and the like.
Not surprisingly, there’s a wealth of scientific evidence touting the physical, psychological, and social benefits of gratitude. You literally become healthier when you are grateful.
How? You can practice gratitude any number of ways, so long as it follows two steps:
- Affirm the goodness of the thing.
- Acknowledging the source of the good.
But don’t let it go to your head.
Rather, be grateful…and let it go to your heart.
***The winner of the Everyone’s a Genius book giveaway is Michael Simmelink. Congrats Michael! Reply to this email and we’ll talk details.***
Worth Reading: Cal-Berkeley has an entire center devoted to science and the greater good. Check out their article,“Why Gratitude is Good.”
Worth Listening: Lo and behold, the Personality Hacker podcast recently devoted an episode to The Skill of Gratitude.
Worth Pondering: I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.–Brene Brown
Live gratefully this week,
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