Arrogance

“The tree ripe with fruits bends over in its weight”

An analogy for arrogance, it means that with accomplishments under one’s belt, one becomes overconfident and only aware of their achievements.

For me, I experienced this recently and felt a need to write about it. (Also to let you guys know that I’m still writing, even if not as consistently as I’d hope.) After a few compliments from people, and a good approval from a teacher on an assignment, I got it into my head that I was some incredible writer, and that with ease or effort, my literature would be profound and of high caliber.

This coming from the same person who admitted that likely, the first 500 blog posts would be sad, or mediocre even.

Sometimes we get our heads stuck up our asses. That was me until I got a major essay back. My teacher gave me a B- or C+ on it. This was a 10 page work which I had invested hours into, spent my time dozing off thinking about my analysis. All coming to fruition in a work that was unappreciated, and I felt, improper for the effort.

Of course the first emotion would be indignation. I felt a brief spark, momentarily angry and upset at the rewards for my efforts. Then I remembered that my teacher is a great teacher, and holds her students to a high standard in their work in order to drive them further and to achieve more. She knows that I’ve written good work, and she’s told me honestly when she thought my piece was good quality. Clearly this wasn’t.

I kept my cool, not because I’m that mentally strong. I did it because I realized my goal was to become a better writer, and that my english teacher is a strong writer, and that I have much to learn.

It hurt a bit, but I took a step back and thought for awhile. Yes, I had invested lots of time into this essay. But was it well-spent? Clearly not, and with that realization, I understood that my essay had become too garbled, too broad. I was trying to write a paper on human nature and its essence, when I should have focused on answering the questions that my teacher was asking.

A lot of the content was fluffy, some of my evidence was contradictory, and some of the reasoning was shaky at best.

Only after seeing this, could the grade be understood. The grade received was the grade that it deserved.

Effort does not equate results. In a world where merely good intention and effort is accepted and rewarded and applauded even is a world based on distortion and self delusion. A world which people can take advantage of, as it gives people the excuses to not achieve what they should.

I guess that I’ve been reading too much of Ayn Rand, and her objectivism philosophy is getting to me. I’m more than half way through Atlas Shrugged! Spent several hours today going from page 350-650 haha.

I think that what my english teacher taught me today is that remaining humble, and constantly aware of the objective truth is what matters when acting. Confidence is wonderful, but should never be left untended and allowed to grow uncontrolled into arrogance.

Thank you for teaching me this lesson today, Mrs. H.

 

Thank you for reading today, and I’m sorry it’s been so long. I guess not only do I need to work on my confidence (moderation) but also my commitment to writing every day.

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Problem Solving

In the face of adversity, it’s not easy to maintain a brave face and a calm mind, to tackle a problem when it takes an emotional toll on you. But that’s exactly when we need to act calmly and most rationally in order to remove ourselves from such a mess.

I’ve gotten better at taking things calmly and from a more objective standpoint recently. The effects have been noticeable, and I find that when I get a challenging problem or a conceptual issue I don’t feel the urge to run for help, or an overwhelming need to give up and mope.

Making the choice to do something small like this has given me a small sense of control in my life. It’s not a ton, or the biggest deal, but it has made handling struggle much easier. Of course there’s nothing wrong with asking others for help…however, it’s important to spend the time floundering, trying different approaches and reaching dead ends. What this method of almost random wandering teaches us is that over time, we become more capable of choosing the right paths, and as a result we pick less dead ends, and thus become faster at solving more difficult problems.

A few people have pointed this out to me…it’s that I tend to give up in the face of adversity. That’s not who I want to be seen as, who I want to be. I think that this choice is helping me take a step in the right direction. Perhaps the most important skill to be gleaned is that of independent problem solving.

Problem solving…the most important skill for computer scientists, for students, and frankly for everyone. No matter what field, what we are doing, there comes a time when we have a problem, and we must bypass the problem via finding a solution.

I guess if there’s one thing you get out of reading this piece, it’s that we can all be better problem solvers, from those who don’t do those who live it. There is no limit on how much more we can expand our knowledge, how many more connections and solutions that we can find.

(sorry for not posting in a few days)

Thanks for reading, and have a great day.

Confidence

Swaggering, an air of control despite chaos, maybe someone who’s full of themselves. That might be the first thought that comes into your head when you hear that word. However…that might be better represented by arrogant. The truly confident are aware of their goals, aware of their abilities, and acting suave to provide the best mentality for success.

The difference is that the cocky person may not be able to back up their supreme confidence. Sure, they may be pretty good, but are they exceptional, and are they humble enough to learn from those around them? Even the best are willing to stand aside and learn when they meet someone who has superior skill. If the person is too full of themselves, or becomes cocky, it is likely that their display of self-assurance is merely a facade intended to impress others or boost their huge ego a little bit.

The confident person knows that there is chance for failure. However, they don’t let this affect their mentality or thoughts, instead setting it aside as something that doesn’t matter in the moment. They know the extent of their abilities, and what their limits are. They know what the problem is, and that given a good effort they can most likely succeed. Rather than worrying about the chance of failure, and letting the torment hamper their results, instead in the moment it is distanced, like the distractions disappearing as one enters the zone.

Success isn’t certain, any number of things can go wrong. Maybe that day you’re feeling sick and have a match you need to play, maybe you blank on a topic of the exam for 15 minutes, maybe unforeseen traffic issues make you late to an appointment. Something can happen, and throw you off track. That shouldn’t be a big deal though, because things happen. By truly being a learned individual, and knowing your craft, even in times of confusion and turmoil as long as you maintain the calm and collected confidence you can achieve the best of yourself at that moment.

Never lose your calm, never let the panic set in. We can fail, our lives can crumble in front of our eyes, but remember…it’s just an illusion. Failures can lead to success and growth, while personal struggles reveal our flaws and areas of needed reinforcing. By staying clear-headed and confident, we can weather the difficult patches and gradually become someone who others respect for insight and clarity.

Stay confident, not arrogant…but aware and knowledgeable about where you stand in terms of knowledge, skill, passion.

Thanks, and have a great day.