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Pride comes before the fall

One of the benefits (or curses, depending on your perspective) of growing old is that we live long enough to actually see some of these sayings we thought were silly proven to be true… over, and over, and over again. Even the Bible has this saying, in Proverbs 16:18.

In every part of my life I have seen this axiom to be true, personal relationships, businesses, governments, and on a humorous note, in martial arts.

One of the reasons I love martial arts so much is that the dojo is a great “proving ground” for life outside the dojo. Many times we see young men and women who win a few sparring matches and suddenly feel like they are the next Bruce Lee. They seem undefeatable. As their ego grows, friends and fellow students increasingly distance themselves from the youngster. Then, finally the day comes when they step on the mat with someone more skilled who easily defeats them (it’s sweeter if the opponent is smaller! Lol). After this they either leave the dojo, and learn nothing, or they stay and learn the lesson of humility.

Yesterday we had a town hall meeting at work to go over the financials for the last year. They were some of the best I have ever seen. The numbers were incredible! To my astonishment our CEO, Jamie Odell warned us that this is a dangerous time and we needed to cultivate an attitude of humility or our own arrogance would be our undoing. What a wise leader! With that attitude at the top, I think we’re going to have another great year! …but he was dead on. We have to be careful.

What are we to do when this happens? Do like the kids in Karate, honor your opponent with respect, dust yourself off, learn the lesson, and go forward – with humility.


How about you? Have there been lessons like this in your own life? You can be assured you are not alone. Ol’ Bill has had to learn this lesson more than once! Lol