While painting the kitchen last week with my husband, every time he got wall paint on the ceiling or ceiling paint on the fixtures he'd say, Oh I messed up, I got cocky. It was the running joke of the day. I kept saying things like nobody likes cocky, and clean up your own mess!
Facebook seems to be a breeding ground for these kind of catch-all phrases. People are always posting sayings like "Find your peace", "Make your bliss", etc. etc. Recently I even came across a list of 42 "life is too short" lessons by a 90 year old lady from Cleveland.
If I were to make my own list, it would be simple, three words.
DON'T BE COCKY.
If you think about it, it really covers a lot of ground. Don't be cocky like my husband painting the kitchen, meaning, focus on what you're doing and don't get ahead of yourself. It encompasses things like patience, endurance, and a couple other morale boosters I can think of. It mostly involves staying humble and not getting too big for your britches. The thesaurus lists cool words like swollen-headed and hotdogger. Apparently my computer never even heard of that one 'cause it thinks I'm spelling it wrong.
When I think of the missteps I've taken along the way, I imagine those three words would've come in handy. Although hubristic sounds a lot more interesting, modesty and discretion go a lot further.
After all, nobody likes cocky.
Less cocky, less mess to clean up...