We’re not saying you should be a cocky jerk, but we are saying you should take pride in your accomplishments. For instance, once we drew a hand turkey. We’re still bragging about that one.
As much as our mothers might wish we had
22-going-on-however-many Olympic medals,
well, she more likely got this instead. [Phelps dressed in a suit standing by a pool]
What a heroic effort.
It's easy to look at people like Phelps or
J. K. Rowling or Stephen Hawking or whoever
and be envious of their accomplishments.
It's even easier to look at people around us [image of a ground with grass]
and wonder why we're not on par with them.
Ever scroll through Facebook and see their statuses
about how happy your friends are
with their new job and their new significant other [someone checking Facebook status]
or their killer tan they got on the trip to Cancun?
Well, and then you check out your page,
which is essentially a love letter to your cat,
pizza, and sleeping.
Well, news flash.
Just because you're not sun bathing on the beaches of Cancun [a man enjoying at a beach]
doesn't mean you're not doing some cool things.
You don't have to have 22 Olympic gold medals.
But you did set your school's butterfly record in your last meet.
Maybe you didn't write seven world famous books,
but you do like to write for fun. [woman reading a story book to a small girl]
And your little sister who used to have nightmares
all the time? Well, ever since you started reading
your stories to her, they've gone away.
And maybe you're not gonna make your living as a renowned
theoretical physicist, but that B+ you got on your physics test?
Well, you earned it and you're pretty proud of it [a teacher talking to a student in a classroom]
and, for you, that was a great grade.
Getting down on yourself is easy,
especially when it seems like everyone around you
has their life figured out. [someone scrolling through Facebook]
Here's a secret: No one ever has it all figured out.
Even Phelps is always pushing to be better
and shave off a half-second or two.
And we only get to hear about the good stuff he does.
He probably sucks in a million other ways. [Phelps talking to someone on a phone]
Well, keep in mind there's a fine line
between being a cocky, arrogant jerk
and a sniveling mess in need of
So how much pride should you take in your work? [image of a speedometer]
Well, let's look at this girl.
She got the lead in her play.
She worked hard and delivered a great performance.
You tell her she was fabulous and she replies like this:
Charming. [someone giving a bouquet of red roses to a woman]
She also tells you she's been encouraged to audition
for Juilliard and she feels like she's destined to get in.
After all, have you seen what passes for talent these days?
Blegh. Too much pride isn't pretty.
It's braggy and arrogant. [a gorilla outside a window]
But say you go up to her after the play
and tell her she was fabulous and she replies like this:
You spend the rest of the night assuring her
that, contrary to her belief,
Meryl Streep has not had bowel movements
with more talent than her.
So a complete lack of pride isn't pretty, either. [Meryl Streep giving a thumbs up]
But let's say you tell her she was fabulous
and she replies like this:
There it is.
The sweet spot.
She recognizes what she accomplished,
takes pride in it, but stays humble. Nice. [woman exiting the stage]
Bottom line is that you can beat yourself up
all you want over not being Michael Phelps.
But chances are, you've got something else to be proud of
and you're probably the best at being you. [a man scoring a goal]
You might not make the front of a Wheaties box,
but it might very well make the door of your parents' refrigerator.
And eventually, you'll find someone you love
who loves you back. [picture of a couples wedding]
And then life's really good.