November 17, 2009

...Bad Things Happen

Yesterday I pointed to the example of Bill Belichick's decision on Sunday night to go for it on 4th & 2 to illustrate this very simple principle: When Arrogance Trumps Wisdom, Bad Things Happen. This isn't just a football or coaching principle. This is a principle that cuts across every arena of life.

Arrogance is often to narrowly defined. Normally, we only use it in reference to someone who is pompous & proud. However, the real definition of the word reveals that arrogance is practically universal. Here's the definition: making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming. That's a much more broad definition. You & I are often arrogant in how we go about life. We assume that the rules & principles of life don't apply to us. That's what happened Sunday night. The odds for a Patriot win were much higher if Belichick had punted. Instead, he decided to go against the wisdom he's obviously gained over his years of coaching & assumed they would get the 1st down. "After all, I'm Bill Belichick; my quarterback is Tom Brady, & we're the Patriots! Surely we can get 2 little yards." Don't misunderstand me; I'm not blasting Belichick & calling him an idiot. He's simply human. No other coach would have done what he did, but because he is Belichick, he thought he could pull it off. He had to learn the hard way that the rules still apply to him.

You and I do this pretty much everyday. We think we can do what we want with no fallout. Some of us think we can spend our money however we want & the basic rules of economics will somehow overlook us. Others think they can treat the people in their lives like products to be consumed without the basic rules of relationships leaving them alone & unknown. At some point all of us are guilty of allowing our arrogance to overcome our wisdom. We wouldn't advise anyone to do some of the stuff we do, yet we can't recognize the same flawed behavior & thinking when we see it in the mirror!

How has your arrogance trumped your wisdom? Where did it lead you? How can you still take risks in life without being arrogant?

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