Chip on Your Shoulders Quote

Don’t live with a chip on your shoulder,
Live with one on each

chip on shoulder quote minh tanMinh Tan

Other quotes by me

First of all, this quote makes use of an idiom or expression, a chip on your shoulder, for those who aren’t familiar with English. This quote also wouldn’t translate well into other languages because it uses the literal image of the idiom, the idea of having a physical chip on your shoulders, while stating the figurative or symbolic meaning of carrying a grudge. That is, even if you translated this quote figuratively to whatever the equivalent expression is in another language, because it doesn’t involve the physical concept of balancing things out with something else on the other shoulder, it would make no sense. You would be trying to explain it completely like I am about to. I don’t like writing quotes that can’t translate well, literally or figuratively, but I do love this one as a life philosophy I have.

Carrying a chip on your shoulder is an idiom for having a grudge or grievance of your own perception against others. The most common example would be how someone is underestimated in his/her ability and feels a duty prove wrong those who doubted him/her. That feeling is the grudge or grievance, often referred to as having a chip on your shoulders. The origin of the expression is the 19th century American practice of daring others to fight you by carrying a chip of wood on your shoulder and daring others to knock it off to provoke you into a fight. More details can be found at Phrase Finder.

In using the expression, like how it is used today, I’m not suggesting anything like challenging others to a fight, but just proving others wrong. The thing with people who have a chip on their shoulder is that they often take it too far and let it influence their behaviours very irrationally. They can get easily upset. They can de-prioritize other things in life just for the sake of proving someone wrong. They can try to prove it sooner than later rather than just eventually doing it like they know they can. They may try to prove their doubters wrong far more than necessary by taking things to extremes. They could do any number of very irrational things going around with a chip on their shoulders, as the expression goes.

What I propose in this quote is not to let that chip unbalance you, or keep you from thinking (and going) straight in life. But I not suggesting you avoid having a chip on your shoulder! That’s because I think having a chip on your shoulder is actually a good thing! That’s if you, know how to use it, as a powerful motivator, rather than let it, control you! In that sense, then, what I’m recommending is that you have another chip on the other shoulder to balance things out, and keep yourself in balance in whatever you do with these chips on your shoulders. Should you do things properly to know how to balance them and use to them to your advantage, then what I’m recommending is to always have a chip on each shoulder. It’ll keep you edgy and motivated, give you that little extra energy and cause, and keep you young in never getting complacent! And I’d rather you always have a couple of these chips on your shoulders than having none at all!

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