Confidence comes from doing the right thing.

I’ve often heard it said that confidence comes from winning, and to some extent this is true. However, I have seen too many public figures, in particular athletes and politicians, who displayed confidence, only to have it come crashing down when it was discovered their success was built on shaky ground – performance enhancing drugs, voter fraud, etc.

It reminds me of the classic story we read to our children. You know, the one about the three little pigs. Two of the pigs cut corners and built houses with faulty foundations out of cheap material. They also threw their houses up pretty quickly. The third pig built a solid foundation and used materials that were strong, and, as you would expect, it took much longer for him to build his house.

Then a storm comes – it always comes – and in this story, it comes in the form of a big bad wolf who tests what they have built. Spoiler alert: only one house was able to withstand the big bad wolf, and we all know which house that was.

Some observations worth noting about this story:
1. Genuine success is not built overnight. When someone builds something quickly, be cautious. What they built may not last very long. It’s like magnetism. A metal that is quickly magnetized quickly loses its magnet ability, like a paper clip. However, a metal that is magnetized over time stays magnetized for what seems like an eternity.
2. It costs more money and more time to build something that will last, but you only have to build it once. A good friend of mine often tells his kids and the students he works with at church to “do it right, do it light; do it wrong, do it all day long.” It make take a little more time and a little more money to build something strong, but most likely, you’ll only have to build it once.
3. Justifiable, unshaken confidence is the reward of knowing you did something the right way. When the big, bad wolf showed up at the house of the third pig, the other two pigs were shaking in their boots. But the third pig was calm and confident, because he knew his house was built the right way. His confidence was unshakable and justifiable, but not cocky nor arrogant.

Today, you are building something: an impression on your co-workers, a business in your community, a relationship within your family. Make sure you are taking the time and investing the resources necessary to build something that will last.

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