Don’t Knock Yourself

No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself.” – Alfred Tennyson

This simple formula, diligently applied, will turn a poorly managed life around and carry a successfully lived one through to completion. Being good at one or several of the areas described is necessary, but not sufficient to living life to its fullest.

You are just as much a hypocrite if you don’t knock yourself but knock others as you are if your don’t knock others but knock yourself. Most people manage to ease off the knocking when it comes to themselves and their friends, but few rise to the level of not knocking their enemies. Valor and nobility are uncommon for this reason.

9 thoughts on “Don’t Knock Yourself

  1. Coco

    Yes I guess it can seem easier to stop disparaging ourselves, associates or acquaintances rather than our enemies. Perhaps the true test of forgiveness is this. I’m not suggesting it’s wise to stay in close proximity to them but forgoing judgement creates another type of distance, the high road. It changes our view, our depth of entanglement and our path to the future. It truly is the “miracle mile” of life. Thanks for your thoughts.


  2. Joshua

    The knocking yourself part emerges mostly as a feeling, however, in it’s extreme it becomes voiced. The former is the greater challenge, especially if you’re in the habit of letting those “feelings” have residence in your heart.
    Thanks for the reminder and redirection!
    Feelings need not govern function, visible or invisible.


  3. Zach

    There is a small subset of people that ease off of knocking their enemies, but make sure they knock themselves and their friends. This self sacrificing attitude is sometimes seen as noble, but it lacks balance just as much as the people that only knock their enemies. You see it a lot in the religions that embrace asceticism or a life of morality enforced simple living.
    Balance is vital to living life with uncommon nobility, including balance in how you treat yourself and others.


  4. Chuck Reddick

    Focusing on adding value in all that you do instead of knocking others (and yourself) is going to do just that to not only the lives of others but to one’s own life as well. When we do focus on adding value than we are able with gracefulness and nobility to enjoy all that we are entrusted with to handle rightly.


  5. Ricardo B.

    I can attest over and over again to the value of this in the work that I do, for reputation goes a long way.. Those who climb the ‘corporate ladder’ by scaling up people’s perceived weaknesses is done by the stress of pure aggressive force and/or even worse by purposely deceiving those around them to make themselves look better than they really are. Either way you lose in the end, and a wonderful life is about weaving a string of humble victories and successes together, consistently, all the way through life. To really do this, I think your influence has to be one that is focused on the quality of service that you offer, and no more. That will sort everything out – it will always point out the areas you need to improve upon to eventually become better at what you do and then naturally stand out. You are your own competition in this sense. Furthermore, your reputation can never be tarnished for never any spite nor any blasphemy will be heard from you which surely can cause years of hard work to vanish in an instant, setting you back and stunting a life of triumph. A life of triumph, as all life true, is a testimony to our glorious heritage. What could be if we all lived it in this spirit?


  6. natalie k

    We should certainly always be looking at how we can emphasize the best in others. This will naturally emphasize the best in ourselves too!


  7. S.B.

    This is great advice! I am always put off by businesses or individuals who tear others down to build themselves up. That I not where I am interested to invest my time or money. Thanks for letting the light shine on a sound model for success in any area of living!


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