Do not honor yourself before the king,
and do not stand in the place of great men;
for it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
than to put you lower before a prince,
whom your eyes have seen.
It’s a classic scene from Cars. One that I’m sure we’ve all experienced in real life, or we know someone who has. The arrogant Lightning McQueen has just finished the piston cup. And while he barely made it across the finish line, he was still bragging as though he had most assuredly won the race. As the announcer comes over the loud speak, you hear the words “for the first time in the history of the piston cup…” and Lightning finishes the phrase “…a rookie has won the piston cup.” He busts through the curtain with pride. Only to hear the words, “we have a three way tie.”
It’s embarrassing. Though, most of us probably feel more embarrassed for Lightning than he does for himself. He stepped out to be honored for a prize or position, and that wasn’t what was going to happen.
That’s what happens when you’re proud and arrogant. And even though it’s only a cartoon, the message is loud and clear. The truth is universal because we have seen people do the same thing. We’ve seen athletes celebrate prematurely. We’ve seen salesmen celebrate records and awards they had not yet earned.
The point is pride seeks to be honored. When you’re proud, you’re going to seek honor for yourself. When you’re arrogant, you believe you deserve the awards over anyone else. And that will lead you to do things like Lightning.
Don’t be that guy. Instead be the humble guy. And even when you have done something brag-worthy, don’t brag about it. Even when you’re getting honored, don’t boast about it. It’s better to make less of yourself than you are than to make more of yourself than you are.