Pride is such an interesting emotion.
True pride seems to be critical for a man’s motivation, confidence, and discipline. False pride, however, goes hand in hand with the ego.
So I often wrestle with the question: If I overcome my false pride, how much true pride will there be? How strongly can inspiration pull me toward a goal when desperation (fear, insecurity, etc.) ceases to push me forward?
If I destroy my ego, how much of my motivation, confidence, and discipline will there be left? Could true pride be an illusion? Maybe even an illusion created by the ego?
Today, at the end of my guided body scan meditation, I noticed something that I had not noticed before. In closing the session, Jon Kabat-Zinn speaks, “You may wish to congratulate yourself on having taken the time and the energy to nourish yourself in this way (Guided Mindfulness Meditation, CD1).”
I repeat, “You may wish to congratulate yourself.” — That is an invitation to be prideful: to take pride in what I have done, to take pride in having completed the meditation session.
Now why is this so interesting?
It is interesting because it shows that even something as ego-averse as mindfulness practice is closely tied to the emotion of pride.
Without pride, I would not have had the motivation to meditate. Without pride, I would not have had the confidence that I can stay still for 45 minutes. Without pride, I would not have had the discipline to keep at it and to begin in the first place.
Regular meditation requires focus and commitment; it requires willpower. Thus, it requires a sense of pride. This pride, I think, is true.
It does not say, “Look at me, I meditate, I work on myself, I am Mr. Self Improvement, while all those other, those ‘mediocre’ people are just being lazy or trapped in their egos.” No.
Rather, true pride is a self-directed gratitude: a gratefulness for one’s Will.
- Are Pride and Humility Good or Bad? (Affective Ethics)
- Pride Experience Vs. Pride Anticipation
- MBSR Mindfulness Challenge – Part 1 [Introduction]
- The Truth about Pride and Humility
- Is Your Pride Emotionally Mature?
- Study Shows That Pride Fuels Discipline
- Why You Shouldn’t Hide Your Pride
- What’s Wrong with Ryan Holiday’s “Ego is the Enemy”
- Everyday Mindfulness: Awareness Over Feelings
- Do You Need a Big Ego to Become Successful?
- Will Meditation Make You Unmanly?
- What Is Pride? On the Feeling of Greatness
- Why Every Life Philosophy Is A “Feel Good” Philosophy
To learn more about how pride and willpower are connected, read my book Willpower Condensed.