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Avoiding Bumptious People

By Wm. May
Published: 08/01/16 Topics: Comments: 0

One of the worst things we can do for our children is tell them they are great at everything they do.

Explaining that they can be victorious at one skill or another is true for many offspring at certain times in their lives. But, deluding them with false hope of impossible tasks creates bumptious behavior that only hurts the child in the long run, and misplaced confidence is often difficult or impossible to expel once infested.

You may find this advice as self-defeating for children, or event fatalist, but it is nothing of the kind. Every one of us ends up being realistic in our expectations in order to cope with life and to pursue endeavors which are indeed attainable.

A person's time is better spent pursuing the endeavors they are capable of, than chasing dreams - nightmares really - which are, or will prove to be impossible.

On a recent television show, celebrities were invited to become springboard and platform divers. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, a retired professional basketball player and one of the sport's greatest, used his athletic discipline to train diligently.

But in the end, his 7 foot 2 inch height was too much and his dives looked - shall we admit it - gangly.

Watching the television show American Idol, reveals that a great many people are greatly terrible at singing. For those who approach the competition as a challenge, and recognize their inferiority with a grin, the contest is a hoot.

But others, who seem so clearly terrible to virtually every viewer, remain confident and even defiant when told that their vocal skills would be better suited for calling pigs in the forest. Often their disdain for the judges is echoed by families and friends accompanying them to the auditions.

How could otherwise intelligent people be so delusional about their vocal skills? How can novice employees start new jobs feeling there are already experts are skills they know nothing about?

How can customers who know nothing of a product, pronounce themselves experts on Yelp?

The Internet allows people the world over to gain information and even insight from the knowledge and experience of others. But it has limitations.

Watching an expert mountaineer rock-climb prepares the viewer for attempting such a thing. Climbing the wall exposed to the elements in bad weather and without proper physical conditioning is suicide.

Reading an account of hiking the jungles of Africa can not subject the reader to the heat, humidity, biting insects, harsh physical demands and mental fatigue of trudging through the inhospitable landscape.

The word bumptious is defined as "annoyingly self-assertive" and people with this kind of malady are to be avoided. Steering clear is better advice, than helping them to recognize their disease.

That self-confidence means they are just as likely to repel attempts to bring them into reality as they are to actually self-correct the deficiency themselves.

Author: Wm. May – Title, MayPartners
Blog #: 0504 – 08/01/16

Comments: 0

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