Every once in awhile, a little too much confidence sinks in.  Confidence I don’t yet deserve.  It courses through my veins, lifts my head upward, and amplifies my voice.

“You totally know what you’re talking about.  You are awesome, and everyone’s  confirming it.  Shed every ounce of restraint, for this next post will blow their minds!”

I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from readers on this site.  With every email, comment, and pingback, my thinking gets more deluded.  I realize bloggers are a self-affirming crowd, but I like to bring myself down to earth from time-to-time.  You know what?  I’ve piggybacked on the theories of smarter people who have accumulated tons of wisdom over the course of their extensive careers.  All I can really attribute to myself is that I read a lot, and I have a fraction of their experience.

This post is as much for you as it is for me.  I’m 22, and I’m only beginning to figure this stuff out.

By Charlie Hoehn

6 comments on “Pride

  1. I’ve found myself in this odd paradigm, where the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. The shift from a bold self-assurance to a humbling, healthy slap in the face is part of the everlasting process. This seems to be what you are referring to.

  2. Age is of little consequence. Sure, experience is great, but most people have an amazing capacity to do nothing, or as little as possible.

    There are many in their 20’s that have very little “experience,” yet have changed the way the internet world and corporate America thinks (WordPress, Facebook, etc.)

    To many are committed to learning, but not committed to doing. There is a huge difference!

  3. @Alex — I actually haven’t had any humbling slaps in the face. This one was self-inflicted. While I think that I’ve worked hard and deserve some of the good things that have happened, a lot of it has just been luck.

    @Bob — I actually agree with you: age is of little consequence. In fact, one of the most intelligent and accomplished people I know is 20 years old. But I disagree with your last statement. I don’t think enough people are committed to learning. Too many kids my age think they deserve respect simply because they have a degree, even though they have almost no experience or personal wisdom to their name. They don’t even read books (I think the average American reads less than one book per year). I’m happy with the direction I’m headed, but I have to remind myself every now and then that I have not acquired enough wisdom/experience to justify the amount of self-assurance I sometimes have. There’s a big difference between quiet confidence and hubris — I’m just trying to avoid the latter.

  4. I also believe that continuing education, either formal or via books, etc is vital. My point was that too many people use education as a crutch for not doing anything. In my business, Real Estate, 85% of the business is done by 15% of the agents.

    The large majority of these agents doing nothing are very well educated, and continue to get more knowledge, but they never put it into real world practice. IMO, fear prevents them from getting out and doing, while learning more and more is safe.

    Execution is the problem. It’s a lot easier to learn things than it is to actually execute on them. When you use the increased knowledge to better your self, service, or systems, THEN the magic will happen.

    Keep putting out good stuff like this, I love it!

  5. Haha, thanks Bob. I’ll keep putting stuff out – I promise : )

    And I have a better understanding of what you’re saying now and completely agree. Paralysis by analysis is all too common (I have done it many times myself). I think it’s because it’s difficult to recognize the point of diminishing returns — you’re gaining a lot from learning so much about your particular field, but when do you reach the level where you’ve learned enough to get by but know it would be more valuable to spend your time executing? Hard to say, but action is far more important than analyzing. You get nothing done if you sit around reading 500 blogs every day. You have to put your knowledge to work.

  6. One can listen to podcasts, read blogs, absorb endless amounts of knowledge, delve into deep meditations…but any of it only seems to matter when you communicate your ideas to others. So by action and interaction knowledge can become wisdom.

    Very few have knowledge and wisdom that can affect people without effort. Sure you can expand your intellect by reading Stephen Hawking, Decarte or Hemingway. But none of that means much unless someone actually reads it.

    Whether that is putting knowledge to practice on the streets or even exchanging ideas on the internet, when education/knowledge causes people to act and interact – that experience leads to wisdom.

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