The Lighter Side of Arrogance
Six weeks ago, Seth Godin wrote this:
Do you care enough to believe in things that seem unreasonable? Do you believe in...your people, your project, your endeavor so deeply that others find your belief arrogant now and then? If your standard is to never be called arrogant, you've probably walked away from your calling.
However, if you've ever been called arrogant, it doesn't feel like a compliment; it feels just the opposite. For someone to use the word "arrogant," you must have acted particularly haughtily. Otherwise, they would have chosen a more casual descriptor, like cocky. So, how do we reconcile pursuing our calling and being seen as arrogant with our lizard brain's aversion to risk (and the corresponding desire to avoid conflict)?
I don't have the answer. It's something I've grappled with over the last several months. A "calling" is often described in vague terms—teaching, writing, and so on. It also frequently carries a professional connotation (i.e. a calling is too big to be a mere hobby). Is walking away from a job or opportunity that I'm passionate about to the point of arrogance walking away from a calling? I don't think so, but that doesn't make it easy to see "our people, our project, our endeavor" be something less than we think it should.
The challenge lies in being patient, positive, grateful, persistent, generous, and constructive in how we deal with the world as we pursue our calling.