“Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be grateful. Conceit is self-given; be careful.” (John Wooden) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
Aside from conceit, the quote above talks of things that we are given in life. I think it is also important to look at the things that we must earn in life, like respect and trust and love. No one that we meet will give us any those three things without us doing something, usually over time, to prove that we deserve them. Usually people that a measure of you over time and watch your actions to see if they match or exceed your words before they respect or trust you. In relationships those two always come before the third thing that we earn which is love.
Another thing that comes to mind when discussing those three things is that children’s song The Ittsy Bittsy Spider. Respect, trust and love can all be lost in and instant, just as the rain washed the spider out of the water spout; and then, like the spider we have to start all over to earn them again. All it takes to destroy a hard earned reputation or the trust of others is one mistake or bad decision. Sometimes love is also lost due to things that negatively impact the trust and respect that those who loved you had for you.
So, we must always be mindful of the impact of our decisions and the actions that we take in front of others. Unlike conceit it’s not just about us; it’s about what others will think of us. The other thing to consider is how long lasting the consequences of a poor decision can be. The foolish acts of young men or women can stay with them for a lifetime, especially if they result in a criminal record. There appears to be no amount of good that one can do to cover up a moment of bad, if the bad concerned certain things. Once a reputation is ruined or trust is lost the best that one can hope fort is a second chance to earn that trust back and establish a new reputation going forward.
So take coach Wooden’s words of wisdom to heart but also be mindful of the things that are in your control (which actually includes the conceit part of his quote) and focus on making decisions in life that help build trust and establish a good reputation. From that base, hopefully you can then also earn the love of another.
As Warren Buffet put it – “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
And Steven Covey had this to say about trust – ‘Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most
essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
And finally…”Trust lies at the core of love; there can be no true love without trust.” -M.K. Soni
Work on earning the things that are important in life today…