It may seem old-fashioned in the current cultural environment. But anyone who is serious about doing life well should probably revisit a modern version of the “Seven Deadly Sins.”

As the 17th-century essayist La Rochefoucauld set forth in his Maxims:

“Nature…endowed us with pride to spare us the pain of knowing our imperfections.”

His point is the very pragmatic one that a surfeit of pride makes it impossible to see our own imperfections – or to hear about them from others.

Doing life well is not a matter of perfecting yourself. It is more a matter of avoiding the self-protective armor that keeps you from seeing yourself as you truly are. You have to start there.

There is always a paradox that lies in wait for the prideful person. It is easy enough to please yourself, and to gather around you people who will help you be pleased with yourself even if that takes you in the wrong direction.

If you learn how to do life well, you should be proud of yourself. Just make sure that the reasons for being proud of yourself are the right ones.

-Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader