Fatal arrogance drives us into several meanings of death that is not limited by physical, social, personal or entrepreneurial death.
I enjoy talking about this because I have tasted the bittersweet meaning of being arrogant and also the meaning of humiliation.
Arrogance is produced by the lack of self-esteem which can have several roots. For example, someone may have been ignored or disparaged in their childhood. Hence, whenever they got an achievement, they grab it really hard by being arrogant. They feel the need to show off as if they will never get another achievement and the way they grab into each achievement is through arrogance.
I bet you can think about a lot of people who are like that. People who make a big deal about really small achievements that sometimes is really sad how hard they force it. They act as a great thing for shitty deeds.
You may also find the type of person who hasn’t achieved anything recently so they keep remembering very old triumphs. The worst thing is that they become arrogant about that. Really? Yeah, I know it is sad but it happens frequently.
Another example of what I have seen is people who develop that arrogant attitude because in their childhood they were praised by their parents. Even for just doing shit. These kids grow with a toxic mindset thinking that they are [the king Midas]. They don’t recognize their mistakes and they think that life should give them whatever they want.
It’s ironic because life avoid them and they tend to suffer from frustration. At least, I experienced that. Therefore, I consider that humiliation is a great antidote for arrogance. Although, there are people who just get worse because they choose anger and frustration. They don’t want to give up that toxic mindset. In those cases, I can only say that may God save us from that pit of pride.
We are getting a little ahead on this message even though there’s a lot to talk about arrogance which is also related to the previous topic called [criminals in business]. Arrogance is another character flaw that we must avoid in order to be successful.
In my life, I have not lost anything to violent crime. I have lost the most money to people who did well in school. They were smart people who believed they were the smartest people on earth and could never make a mistake, nor admit to making a mistake. This is not intelligence. This is arrogance, a tragic character flaw. An arrogant person cannot take feedback, learn, change or correct in a fast-changing world. They get left behind.Robert Kiyosaki
As we have talked on many other occasions the true criminals in business are nice and kind people who have character flaws. Robert reinforces this idea by saying that there’s a particular flaw called academic arrogance.
I’ve seen this a lot. People tend to think that getting into a university is a great excuse for being assholes. After you go to college and get into the real world you know that it is nothing to brag about. Yet some people think that by being college students they become smarter. So pathetic. The dropouts statistics are high and also the unemployed professionals are high. There’s nothing to be proud of when your job doesn’t cover your student loans.
Now than ever is stupid to feel proud about your educational institutes because the world is changing at a very fast pace. So fast that you constantly need to keep studying and updating your knowledge.
If you can’t think about someone who’s like that then it might be because you’re the one. Maybe it’s you who’s an academic asshole. I’m telling you this because it’s something very common and I’m not just talking about studying in a worldly known college like MIT, Stanford or Harvard. There are a lot of idiots in every other small institute.
I don’t want to take away the merit of getting into a great college but that’s no excuse for changing your attitude or changing your personality.
The college is not the only reason why some are arrogant. The teachers also influence arrogance into the students by being arrogant themselves. A lot of teachers discredit and despise other universities, other professional careers, and other students. Most teachers talk about their careers with pride which isn’t bad except that they also despise the rest of careers as stupid or useless. That was my case where I heard my teachers say things like “A and B careers are for idlers” or “that’s for truck drivers, here we came to think”. That’s what I heard in my first semester studying mathematics as my main career.
Other sayings were “meanwhile they test it we are going to use our brains a little longer” and “if you find it difficult then choose any other career”. Those phrases may not be the worst thing but those hide a despise of other universities, careers, and students. Hence, it’s completely understandable how the students develop arrogance.
Aside from those two patterns I mentioned, there is another one which I think is the most common reason why there are a lot of cocky students. It is knowledge by itself.
Whenever you acquire new knowledge so deeply, you’ll assimilate it as your nature. I mean, you will be so familiar with that knowledge that it will start to feel like something natural for you. So, whenever you encounter someone who’s not familiar with that knowledge it will feel unnatural to you and therefore you will probably act like an asshole because you will think that by nature you’re superior when you are not. For most people, they choose to keep that arrogance as a way of living.
That’s something I keep fighting with. Especially because I’m not a very patient guy so when I teach I tend to get frustrated and really mad. I assume a lot of things as obvious when they are not. That’s a character flaw that I’m facing and trying to fix because I love to share what I learn. Actually, that’s the whole idea with Lenus as a company. Although, being like this has helped me understand better how this whole arrogance process works.
As with any other thing, the first step is to acknowledge the issue. Before we start talking about the solutions and recommendations we need to understand the consequences of being arrogant.
I have already mentioned how the world is changing so fast which is something we should already know. Each year there’s new tech, new discoveries and new procedures that may be related to our industry so we should adapt to the changes. Sure, there are industries that are more affected than others but If you want to stand out then you need to learn from them even if it’s not part of your industry because maybe in the future it will.
An arrogant person is unable to accept their mistakes and also it’s unable to listen to other people’s advice. Therefore, it’s pretty clear that an arrogant person will never be able to learn from his mistakes and never will be able to learn from his mentors. Seems like that person will be in a steady and old fashioned prison that he created for himself.
The big question is what happens when you don’t change in a changing world? It’s easy to visualize. If you are unable to change, you will be unable to adapt. Hence, you will become an antique in a forgotten museum and some will use you as an example of what they should never do.
That museum is bigger than you may imagine. Inside you could find what once were great brands like Remington, Blockbuster, Panamerican Airlines, Sony Ericsson, Concorde, General Motors, and Kodak. As you can see, arrogance can also destroy your business and everything you build. It makes sense since arrogance limits the company’s capacity to innovate and adapt.
There were other brands who were smarter because even though they didn’t innovate, they bought other innovative companies which help them to stay away from extinction.
Arrogance by itself is a poison that can kill you and also can kill everything you have worked for. That’s really sad because as an entrepreneur you have sacrificed a lot and to see your work be gone just like that is unfortunate. Especially since it’s something so stupid that you could have prevented.
Being humiliated is an awful experience but it’s also a very needed experience to develop humility. I definitely don’t doubt that humiliation is God’s main method to free us from the arrogance prison that we so freely build for ourselves.
The main humiliation moments I experienced were at university and I thank God for that. I experienced very stupid things that I have never experienced before and that also helped me to develop a more sedulous character. Once I were the only one who didn’t know about an exam and find out the exact same day. I also stayed for 4 weeks in the wrong class.
I need to explain myself here. I was in the wrong class because it was the same class at the same time in nearby classrooms and even the class number was similar. What happened was that the first day of classes my real teacher came very late meanwhile the other teacher started on time so I thought that maybe that was the class since there was no other class. I didn’t notice until the next 4 weeks or so and I noticed because I saw my real teacher teaching in the next door classroom and also because in my curriculum the teacher and tutors name didn’t match. It was really humiliating getting into my real class knowing that I was failing it for no attendance.
About the exam that I didn’t know. Well, it was a communication problem that is quite normal although it was humiliating because it made me one of the worst students by lowering my average grades.
Those are just some examples of many I had through the years. I was able to low my head down and understand what Paul means by “now I consider all I know as shit”.
Outside college, I had many other humiliations. Especially as an entrepreneur which I guess is something you can relate with.
It’s stupid to get arrogant after eating a lot of shit as an entrepreneur but seems like a lot of people forget about it and become presumptuous.
My recommendation is to understand the message that life is trying to tell you with each humiliation which is mainly that “if you feel humiliated is because there’s an ego to humiliate”.
I need to highlight that the only one who should humiliate us is life itself because when somebody else does it means that they are being arrogant. Don’t lose your time fighting with someone who’s arrogant because your only job is to avoid being one.
Up to this point, there’s not much you can do because it’s not like you will create your own humiliating situations. So, let’s see some things you can actually do to avoid fatal arrogance.
One of the things I like the most is gratitude because is about recognizing that we don’t deserve anything in life and that we should be grateful for everything that life brings us.
Probably you didn’t know but you don’t deserve anything. No one does. You can expend all your life giving the best of you and yet you will not deserve anything. You may think that it’s an awful thought but it’s the whole opposite because I’m not saying that you will not get anything in life. What I’m saying is that everything you will receive in life is a gift and so you should treat it with gratitude.
Entitlement is the most toxic mindset because it makes you think that life owes you something or that the world owes you something. That’s plainly stupid and poison for your mindset. Entitlement is an expression of arrogance in its fullness.
Gratitude will be your best weapon against that tedious attitude of entitlement and fatal arrogance.
I’ve learned something very interesting with Tony Robbins that I’ve never considered before. It’s about blaming with justice which means blaming others not only for the bad things but also for the good things.
On one of Tony’s conferences, there was a girl who’s dad abandoned her and her mother. Obviously, the girl blamed his dad for that but Tony told her to blame him with justice because one of the consequences of him leaving was that she grew as an independent and strong woman. Tony makes a very important clarification which is that we are not justifying her dad’s actions, we are just acknowledging ALL the consequences. Bad and good.
It’s important to do so because only focusing on the venom becomes a poison by itself. You really don’t want such a toxic mindset because it consumes you. Every single bad experience brings a great opportunity for you that most people don’t see because they’ve learned to only focus on the negative side of the experience. Hence, it depends on you to see beyond the problems.
I know there are a lot of different awful things that happen to people and one of those things happened to Tony. He says that the horrible experience is what made him so strong in character and now he can help other people in awful situations. He has helped people who wanted to suicide by desperation and also help them see beyond the problem. Now those people became leaders of change in the world by helping others.
It’s not just about destroying the arrogance inside of us but also having a much better life through gratitude. We will be able to see the world with a better perspective and our attitude will not only be one of humility but also one of happiness.
Gratitude is the foundation for happiness even in those harsh moments that we are all going to experience.
As I’m writing this I keep thinking about those of you who are saying to yourselves things like “you don’t know what I went through”, “there’s nothing good about this” or “you don’t know anything”.
When someone says something like that is because they are choosing the victim attitude. One thing is to be the victim and another completely different thing is acting like one. When someone acts like a victim is because they choose mediocrity and they just don’t want to keep fighting. They prefer to give up.
I sincerely hope that it’s not your case because it’s a whole other prison hard to destroy.
We want to destroy cockiness without affecting our self-esteem which is possible when you understand that you really are an awesome person, one of a kind, filled with great qualities and strengths, that you have all you need to be successful, and many other great things about you. Except that you have all those great qualities with only one purpose that goes beyond yourself and it’s to share it with others, that is, the purpose of your greatness is to server others.
This is how you will maintain your high self-esteem which is essential as an entrepreneur and for life, but at the same time, you will be able to avoid the dangerous game of fatal arrogance.
If you want to talk more about this topic then follow me on [Instagram] because I will be posting much more about fatal arrogance in there. I also recommend you to read the book [Salud Empresarial] if you know a little bit Spanish because in that book you will find more than a 100 chapters for entrepreneurship which also includes emotional intelligence and character development.
This post was sponsored by Ulysses which is the writing app that I use for all these articles and also for the books that I’m sending to the Elite community. If you want to be part of this community then add your email into the [Newsletter].
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