Sometimes the nuance between pleased and proud makes all the difference. Some folks are pleased enough to coast happily long. Nothing at all wrong with that. For many (some might say most), this is best thing for them, those around them, and for everything they set out to do and be. Punch that clock.

Then there’s the Others. They’re fiercely proud. Of who they are. What they do. With whom and for whom they do stuff. Don’t mistake their ferocity as insecure defensiveness. They will actively present, represent, and work their asses off to define, refine, and continue to grow. They have a healthy fear failing - anyone who claims a lack of fear of failing either never tries to originate a single damn thing that matters, or is full of bullshit. So what distinguishes the Others in relation to failure (and pretty much every other thing)? They’re not ashamed of it. They don’t make in spite of. They create because of.

Craft those clockworks.

For most folks, it’s easy to be pleased with yourself. There are a gazillion things we can do for a quick fix of self-satisfaction. Some of us have polished the mimicry of making to a high gloss. Almost shiny enough to mirror, but not quite self-honest enough for the clarity of true reflection. The pleasure of self-satisfaction is not pride.

If you’re a builder, you bulk up, you pare down, you cut and bleed and scar, you bang and bruise and heal. You burn and you learn. You’re often so dark you shine. Some people say you lead with your chin, mock the fact that you can’t help but lead the charge, or chide you for leading with your heart. They cross their eyes and sniff at your art; simultaneously jealous and ignorant and grateful.Completely unaware of any irony therein whatsoever.

The operative phrase: ‘you lead’. Never regardless of intention, because you’re so full of purpose you can’t help it. Boom. There it is. What.

As an Other, your pride may be mistaken for a lack of humility, mischaracterized: confused with arrogance. “Pride goeth before the fall…” and all that. No worries: If you were that shallow, there wouldn’t be far to fall. And if you’re a leader, climbing, striving for greater heights, you take the slings, arrows, scars, callouses, burning lungs, spinning head, and rubber legs as just another glorious, grinding, infuriating, chaotic chiaroscuro of a day at the office. You wouldn’t have it any other way. You’ve been killed so many times, your middle name is “Stronger.”

Thank you for the craftsmanship of the clockworks you create. We wear them with great satifaction on our wrists (in our phones, on our walls, the dashboards of our cars, delineating the threshold of the breakroom at the office); by them, we measure the times of our lives; and sometimes we live to punch them..

..with a self-satisfied thud, “kerthunk!” defining the next payout on a linear timeline, counting on the fact that you’ll be ‘round again tomorrow, seconds hand and all..

..Safe in the assumption that you’ll be there, making things mesh, clicking on however many cylinders it takes to make shit go in this world.