Pride and resentment: the unseen cancer

A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being. James E. Faust

Although I may not outwardly appear so as much as I should, I am deeply grateful for my loving wife, who has stood beside me for thirty years, through the good, the bad and the really ugly.

I am grateful for our three children, who grew up to make us very proud. Their success was not in becoming financially stable, all three of them struggle, but in their character, the moral compass each developed on their own and their empathy for others. They each developed character traits that would even make a curmudgeon like Mark Twain proud.

I am grateful for the many wonderful people I had the pleasure of meeting. While there are many I would turn my back on, there are many, including a few here, that I would be happy to call friend.

But I am not grateful to certain things that in reflection, I ought to be. I should be grateful to the two individuals who brought me into this world. For too long I’ve held resentment for how my siblings and I were treated by them, for bringing ten children into a loveless and abusive environment.

I supposed the resentment has been like a cancer spreading. It’s there, but unseen, yet doing damage nonetheless. By the time the damage is seen it’s usually too late. They are both gone now, the last one just a few weeks ago. I need to let go of the resentment, and be grateful for the fact they did bring me, and the others, into this world and did make an effort, no matter how small.

But I’m not as humble as I should be. I used to think I was much smarter than many others. When I made the decision at Citigroup to blow the whistle, I leaned on my pride. Let them retaliate, I’m much smarter than they are and will do just well, I reasoned.

I little bit of humility would have gone a long way. It turned out they really are much smarter than I am and proved it. I still stand behind my decision, but I would have taken better measures to make sure I didn’t lose everything if not for my swollen sense of self.

It is amazing how humble one gets when seeing a zero balance in your bank balance and nothing in sight to change it. That is what I saw a few hours ago, and it’s beyond humbling, it opens your eyes to reality: I am nowhere near as smart or as capable as almost everyone else I’ve met.

Some resentment is still there. I still blame others at Citigroup for making it impossible for me to find a job and for putting me into this position.

Understanding comes slow, but it is coming: They did not do this to me, I did this to myself. They are who they’ve always been and I’m the one who made the choice to speak out. I could have walked away, but that would have caused regrets later on and is not the behavior I wanted my children to follow. So I need to take responsibility for what happened.

My wife sent me this quote because she still sees signs of pride and resentment. She is the doctor who saw my cancer. This quote is her prescription for curing me, and it is working.

Some of you already know, but Omar Kiam is my pen name. I did it because I published two business books under my real name and wanted to keep this side of me separate from that side. I had thought the books (The art of process improvement and The command center handbook) would carry us through the difficult times, but that didn’t happen.

As a step in the right direction, I will reach out for help, accepting the fact that I’m really not as smart or as capable as I thought I was.

Believe in yourself

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy” Norman Vincent Peale

If you doubt yourself, if you doubt your abilities, chances are you’ll have a tough time in whatever it is you’re trying to do and you will most likely not be happy.

There have been many times where I’ve tried something new. One time I tried to tile our kitchen. I had never done this before, nor had I ever watched someone else do it. For us, it was a matter of economics, we couldn’t afford to pay someone.

The sales people at the tile store where happy enough to sell us everything we needed and to provide rudimentary instructions. The tiles and everything else needed cost a lot of money, much more than we could afford at the time.

I was nervous and knew that I didn’t know what I was doing. I had very little confidence in my ability to tile the floor, but we needed a new floor and so it had to be done. I felt miserable with each tile I put down, knowing that I wasn’t the right person. In my mind, I saw money going out the window, knowing that it would need to be done over.

You know what? When I finished the floor, it looked horrible. Tiles began cracking as soon as the floor was ready to walk on.

Years later I did the same thing and for the same reasons. This time, my attitude was different. This time, I knew with the right preparations and the right tools, there was nothing I couldn’t do just as well as anyone else.

Before laying the first tile I made sure that I was confident enough in my ability to tile the floor. While doing the job, I felt good, knowing that this floor would last years. I felt happy while doing it and proud afterwards.

Of course, having the right tools and knowledge is key, but more important was having confidence in myself. I could have gotten both before trying to tile the first time, but since I didn’t have any confidence in myself, I felt there was no need to, that it wouldn’t make a difference.

That second tile floor has lasted for fourteen years, without a single cracked tile, and is still going. All it took was confidence in myself, believing that I could do it, that made it possible.

Confidence comes from trying, not from knowing you’re right

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Peter T. Mcintyre

I have been proven to be wrong hundreds, nay, thousands of times more than I have been right. I’ve failed more times than I can remember. However, I do not consider myself a failure. The day when I can’t hold my head up high, when I accept defeat and stop trying or saying what’s on my mind, will be the day that I become a failure.

Despite what people may claim, everyone is wrong from time to time. Being wrong means that you are not afraid to speak your mind. It means that you made an effort. It means that you’re not afraid to try.

Successful politicians and salespeople are the ones who are confident in what they say. It doesn’t matter that what they say is wrong most of the time. What matters is that they said something in a confident manner.

The only way to become confident is by not being afraid to be wrong. It is how you learn. It is how you find out that you are wrong and what the truth is.

Speaking with confidence means you’ve given thought to what you are saying. It means in your mind you think it is correct. People respect that. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. If you think about it, it’s the person who is unsure of what to say that either gets blamed, doesn’t get elected or doesn’t make any sales.

It isn’t what you say that matters, but how you say it. When you speak with confidence you give strength and inspiration to those around you. They will not hold it against you if you’re wrong. You develop your character when you admit you were wrong and gain the respect of others.

What matters most is confidence in yourself, in knowing that as long as you keep trying, you will succeed one day. The best way to build confidence in yourself is to get over the fear of being wrong, or being rejected. The world will not suddenly turn against you. When you are proven to be wrong, you’ll realize that your fear was unfounded and you’ll become more confident when speaking. You’ll realize that it’s not what you say that matters, but in how you say it.

Silence that inner voice if you want to reach the stars

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” Unknown

How many times have you said to yourself “No, don’t even bother trying for that, you’re not that kind of person”

What holds you back many times from pursuing things that you might enjoy and be good at, is yourself. Before you’ve given it a try, or even given it a serious thought, that voice inside you says “no, it’s not within your abilities to be that type of person.”

“No, you can’t be a writer, because you’re not gifted.”

“No, you can’t be a corporate executive because you don’t have an MBA from Yale or Harvard, or know the right people.”

“No, you can’t be a doctor because you have no money.”

“No, you can’t be an artist because you don’t have the time.”

The people who go on to become one of these learn how to silence that inner voice. They learn there are no boundaries which you can’t cross once you set your mind to it.

The main obstacle holding you back is your inner voice, the one which tells you not to pursue certain trains of thought. You will never know if you’ll be able to do something until you try. One thing is guaranteed though, you will never know if you could do it if you never try.

Silence that inner voice which tells you who you’re not. The more you silence that voice, the more confident you’ll become. As your confidence builds, your chances of reaching your goal greatly increase. You learn by trying and failing, over and over again, until you reach what you’re after.

Silence that inner voice, and then give serious consideration to what you want to do in life. Once you have an idea, go after it with all your passion. Even if you decide that it’s not what you thought it would be, you would have learned along the way. More importantly, you will have become a person who’s more confident in their abilities.

With the right amount of confidence, you can conquer the world!



Those who always put down others are failures who don’t matter

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Bernard M. Baruch.

From time to time, someone comes along and puts down whatever it is we’re doing at that moment. For some, that put down is a major blow to confidence and to ego. They criticize whatever it is others are doing, without even trying to understand it.

Many people go through life by putting down others, by making a major deal out of everything. Those are the types of people who are unable to accomplish anything on their own, so they try to make themselves feel better by trying to make sure no one else is successful.

They take offense to everything. They berate other peoples work. They take pleasure in making others suffer, in making others give up before they’ve even had a chance. Those types of people will never succeed. The most they can hope for is to stop others from succeeding.

The people who have a good heart, the ones who want to see others succeed, are the only people who’s opinion should matter. Those are people who have confidence in their own abilities. Those types of people don’t mind helping others succeed. They don’t look for the negatives, but rather for any positive which can be used to build on.

People who matter don’t see a badly written story, or a poorly sung song, or a poorly drawn painting. They see potential. They see what could be. The people who matter are the ones who see the bright spots, the little glimmers of talent. While those who don’t matter will see a little bud on a plant, the ones who matter see what will be: a beautiful rose.

Don’t pay attention to people who put you or your work down. They put everything down and do not matter, no one pays them any mind and neither should you. What’s important is to have confidence in your own abilities, confidence that you have talent and that your work has potential. Seek out those who are confident in their own abilities, because those are the ones who matter. The ones who matter will not mind someone else becoming successful, in fact, they will help anyone they see with potential, who has confidence in their own abilities.

If you sell yourself short, so will everyone else

“If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.” Unknown

We are our own worst enemies. We put ourselves down before giving anyone else the chance to praise us. Aside from most mothers, who know their kids true value, regardless of what we do or say, everyone else will value us based on how we value ourselves.

Don’t sell yourself short. Every living person trying to make something of themselves has a high value. Every person trying to create something, a book, a poem, a song, a drawing, a little box for nick knacks has a high value. Every person trying to raise their kids to have a better life than they had has a high value. Every person who is there to listen to a friend in times of need has a high value. Every person who talks so the quiet ones can listen has a high value.

Never sell yourself short. If you do, no one, aside from your mother will increase the value you put on yourself. If others want to set a low value on you, that is there businesses. There are people all over this world to try to put low value on things. You see them at the flee markets haggling over a fifty dollar item being sold for two dollars.

Sell yourself high. Value yourself based on what you will become in the future. Value yourself based on your abilities, not based on what other try to get away with. They will sell you short in order to make themselves feel superior.

Sell yourself high, put a high value on yourself. Others will take notice, and may even raise your value even higher. You’ll find that you’re standing straighter, your head is higher, your getting a lot more respect and your a much happier and more successful person.

Use your talent like there’s no tomorrow

“If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don’t hoard it. Don’t dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.” Brendan Francis

Everybody has a talent. EVERYBODY! If you don’t know what your talent is, you need to go and find it! Once you find your talent USE IT! Your talent is not something to save for a rainy day. It does not fade the more you use it. The opposite happens, you get better at it the more you use it. Use your talent, or talents, as though the world was ending tomorrow.

Use your talent as if your life depended on it! Because it does! If you waste your talent, if you don’t use your talent, you are wasting your life!

If you want to truly live, use your talent like a billionaire intent on going broke. You’ll have more talent than you can use in a lifetime, and you’ll die happy.


Paid to play

“When you’re doing the work you’re meant to do, it feels right and every day is a bonus, regardless of what you’re getting paid.” Oprah Winfrey

What this means is that within everyone there is something which they enjoy doing. Find that which you love and make that your life’s endeavor. Once you can do that, work will be something you enjoy and look forward to the rest of your life, not something which you must do for a paycheck. Getting a paycheck is just an added bonus.


“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” Mark Twain

What this quotes means is that one will be successful if one is confident in their abilities, and ignorant of how difficult it is.

If you know something will be extremely difficult, chances are no matter how confident you are, there is doubt within you, and you may falter in your quest.

If you don’t know how difficult the journey will be, but lack confidence in yourself, chances are you will falter in your quest.

Be confident in your abilities, and remain ignorant of the difficulties in reaching your goal. You will reach your goal before you know it.