How do Wisdom and Selling go together?

Welcome to Wisdom Selling. So if you are like me, you are always wanting to learn more. Well here is the deal about selling. It is the desire to exchange something you have, for something of more value to you. You may have an idea, a product, a service which people will want to pay for, allowing you to make a profit. You have to seek out people who might want it, and convince them it is worth the price you are charging. Or like me, you may just have a little wisdom, and are looking for someone who values it enough to want to use it. My value received in return is the joy of your feedback. So, I am selling wisdom. The cost to you, your interest. I want to help others as well. Visit the links page and shop for some good deals. Any profits on money you spend there will be used by Wisdom Selling to support non-profit businesses in developing their strategies.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Are you arrogant?

That may seem like a strange and presumptuous question for me to be asking you this morning.  However, I think that your honest answer to this question, and the decisions you make about how to deal with it may change your day, your relationships, your career and your personal witness to others.

I unfortunately have had to deal with this question often in my own life.  Both in my own behavior and in the behavior I have experienced in others.  Let me give you a definition so you might think back on your interactions with me and see if you think I am or was.  Then you might also look at yourself.

Arrogance to me is thinking less of someone else because they do not think act or believe in alignment with my own beliefs.  I will give you an example.  Let’s say as a result of my beliefs I don’t believe in drinking.  I experience someone who has a lifestyle that includes social drinking or otherwise.  Because of my beliefs there is a gap in behaviors.  Arrogance would mean I think they are less than me because they chose this lifestyle.  I am finding it interesting to watch an eight year old, who does not yet have the capacity of discernment, who struggles to appreciate anyone he sees drinking or smoking.  He does not have the ability to let go what he sees as a deviation from his belief system, and cannot let it go.  He is always pointing it out.  I think to myself, “Why is he so stuck on this?”  Yet I realize I have my own judgments based on my beliefs that cause me to do the same.

In business, we often find ourselves in negotiations with someone who may or may not share the same level of morals and ethics as we do.  In our mind, they often become inferior, as they have a flaw compared to our beliefs.  Yet in their own mind, they see themselves as just fine, and growing quite successful with their behaviors. 

In relationships, we find that decisions are being made based on a family history that we have not experienced personally, and it produces decisions we believe are inferior to our own.  We begin to think less of the other person in this relationship because they are not capable of thinking as we do.

In sports, we excel in a certain skill, and can become caught up in the fact that others do not perform at our level.  We believe that we can outperform because our measurement system is based on our skill set.  You only have to watch the movie Rudy, to see this arrogance played out by others on the team.  Yet he is the one carried off at the end.  Perhaps the measurement system in life was different than the measurement system of the superstar?

In faith, we find that people in the world around us commit acts we consider atrocious.  Sleeping around, driving drunk, telling lies, whatever they deem necessary to have a good time, or to get ahead.  Based on the beliefs of our faith, we can get caught in the trap of sitting in judgment, and gain arrogance in our own performance.  However, we can forget that these people don’t have the same measuring stick as we do in their minds.  To them, their behavior is perfectly acceptable.

In our personal lives we can get so caught up in measures of performance that we have set, that we think we are doing well, and when others deem our performance to be less than excellent we get angry or quit or get into bad habits of secrecy or other unfortunate actions.

The issue here is not that our point of view of the world is wrong.  We may have a perfect understanding of right and wrong, spiritual faith, etc.  The issue is that the world is not aligned.  There is divergence of attitude, viewpoint and moral and ethical thought all around us.  We can see this as our government tries to deal with different world views and shows more arrogance than understanding.

As with general discussions of arrogance, the solution here is to humble ourselves.  Humility is not the action of lowering ourselves below the level of others.  Humility is the lifting up of others.  Meekness is a power that allows us to be content in ourselves so that we can serve others.  By allowing the viewpoints of others to exist without arrogance, we can then begin to understand them, and if possible even influence them.  Influence is a power that comes from people trusting you enough to hear what you have to say and consider it.  Arrogance is the enemy of influence.

I challenge you today as I challenge myself.  Don’t be hatin!  Don’t be arrogant.  Through live, consider those around you better than yourself.   But don’t consider yourself any less!  I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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