My neighbors love to sit outside and talk to one another. The other day, I was chatting with one of them, and he was telling me about his daughter who is just about to get her drivers license. He told me about how she wants a car, but how it has to be fancy and new. He then shared a story with me about his first car, a truck, that he paid off only to have it totaled shortly thereafter. In further reflecting on this gentleman’s predicament with his daughter, I thought about personal pride and how it relates to our lives.
Today, everyone wants to be different. We want to be individuals and we want the world to know it. Our insecurity about being lost or forgotten in the ocean of life leads some to make some pretty odd changes to their physical appearance. We forget that we’re individuals by the nature of our being. Looking out across the landscape of trends, I think one way to really show off your individualism is not to do something shocking, but rather to develop a true sense of personal pride.
We are, in effect, our own brand. The way we present ourselves, the activities that we partake in, the way we care for our things, the way that we interact with others, and the quality of work that we do all make up this brand. Instead of focusing on how we can shock the world and be memorable, we should focus on how we can improve our personal brand through personal pride.
Personal pride is an attribute that guides all of one’s decisions. It’s making choices that reflect an interior disposition of care and intentionality. It causes us to dress nicely and appropriately in public and to decide to wash our cars and mow our lawn on a regular basis. It drives us to shave regularly or to care our beard appropriately and it motivates us to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. In sum, personal pride is that driving force which causes us to take care of ourselves.
Interestingly, the quality of work that we do can also be informed by our sense of personal pride. No one truly wants to be known as capable of only shoddy work, and so we work hard to complete tasks to the best of our ability. We want to be praised by management and respected by our peers and doing great work is a surefire way of achieving that goal. If we do poor work, we’ll eventually be associated with poor quality. Yet, if we have personal pride, we’ll endeavor to do the best work that we can.
In many ways, I think that personal pride is closely related to feelings of self-worth. When we feel good, we take care of ourselves. Helping our children to develop a healthy sense of self-worth and to then translate that into a commitment to developing personal pride is one of our biggest jobs as parents. There are so many forces trying to steal our kid’s self-esteem that it’s up to us to help them to see reality. They are an individual, they are loved, and they have worth.
I believe that having a strong sense of personal pride will drive an individual to higher levels of satisfaction and personal growth. When we care enough to take care of ourselves, our property, and our tasks, we thrive where we’re planted. Make sure that your children know that they are loved and are cultivating a strong sense of personal pride.