Do you have Pride?

Do you have pride in who you are, what you do, and what you have? When I say pride, I mean being or feeling proud—having self-respect. I don’t mean anything ego-based or some kind of sense of superiority. I mean that you are happy with what you have, who you are and what you do.

I meet a lot of people, and I’m always interested in what other people do professionally. I often ask people what they do for a living.

When someone answers, “I’m just….” or “I’m only…” I cringe. No one is just anything. Take pride in what you do! Even if you don’t earn money doing whatever it is that you do, be proud of your choice. Many people would be thrilled to do whatever it is that you do.

When you go to work tomorrow be happy that you have a job to go to. Be proud of what you do, and do it well. Don’t take the attitude that you are just putting in time, or that you have to go to work. Everyone has to go to work (to buy groceries, pay their rent etc.). Take pride in your job, regardless of what you do. Put a smile on your face, put a spring in your step, and realize that it could be worse! Be proud that you have the skills to have a job—not everyone can say that.

When you do a job, do it well. Focus on the fact that this is your job, and you are representing yourself by how well you do your job. Don’t compare yourself to other careers that make more money, or have better hours or working conditions. Focus on your job, and be proud of it.

Yesterday I was at the motor-vehicle office. The place was packed and the temperature outside was blistering hot, which made most people short-tempered. The woman who assisted me was incredibly helpful, very polite and a pleasure to deal with. Now, I’m sure that when she was growing up she didn’t plan on being an agent at the motor-vehicle office, but she clearly took pride in what she did, she did it well, and not once did she complain about the rudeness of people, the heat in the office, or the drudgery of her job. She clearly was proud of her work.

In my neighbourhood, everyone has large lawns and most of them are manicured beautifully. My neighbours next door spend quite a bit of time on their lawn and gardens, and it shows. It makes me proud to be their neighbour, because obviously they do take pride in not only their own home, but the entire neighbourhood. My other neighbour seems to be unaware that he has a lawn at all! Clearly he takes no pride in his lawn, his neighbourhood, or seemingly, his own house. I cringe when I drive by. A house is one of the biggest investments you will ever have, why wouldn’t you take care of it? I don’t know why he doesn’t take care of his lawn, but the message he sends to the rest of the neighbourhood is that he just doesn’t care.

My husband and I were doing some Saturday shopping last week. Now I certainly don’t get dressed up to go shopping, but I do have a certain amount of pride in my appearance. That doesn’t mean I’m always dressed to the nines, but it does mean that if I meet someone I know that I wouldn’t be embarrassed, either.

Looking around Walmart it looked like a set-up for the television show “What Not to Wear.” I realize that shopping at Walmart is not the highlight of your week, but have some pride in your appearance! I’m not worried about what other people think of me, but I do worry about what I think of me. I’m not dressing with pride for others, I’m dressing for me. If the local news station was filming at the store that day, and they stopped to interview you, would you be embarrassed to see yourself on television looking like that? I have self-respect, and it shows by what I choose to wear, how I choose to look, and how I feel about what I have on as well.

We need to care. Whether it is about our job, our career, our relationships or anything in life. We made the choice to take that path. Perhaps it isn’t the path we planned on taking, but it is our path, so we should take pride and do things well.

Today at work, realize that you do make a difference, and be proud of what you are doing today. Be proud of your contribution at work. Be proud of your career, regardless of what it is.

When you are driving home tonight, give your car a treat by taking it through the car wash. When you go to the gym, don’t hide in the back corner of yoga class, but move up to where you can really see the instructor. You are taking care of your body—be proud of your efforts.

Tonight when you get home, be proud of where you spend most of your money. Look around and appreciate what your hard work has brought you and enjoy it.

Don’t compare yourself to what others have, what they do, or who they are. This is about being proud of you, it’s not a contest.

Be proud of your parents, your children, your spouse. Don’t focus on the negatives today, don’t even look at them today. Look at all the positive reasons you have what you have.

And when you look at it that way, you’re pretty darned lucky, aren’t you?

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