Success without humility is an impossible feat.
In an interview in the Year 2000 with celebrity host Oprah Winfrey, the late Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa noted the importance of humility. A peace advocate, Mandela noted the importance of humility for a person the be a peacemaker. There should be honesty. According to him, when you are humble and present no threat, then people will start listening to you.
More importantly, Mandela stressed the importance of being honest to oneself.
Honesty towards oneself entails a huge amount of humility. With our instinctive response to defend ourselves, it is hard to admit to ourselves that we need improvement. Or that we did something wrong. Especially when we are dealing with ourselves, humility becomes scarce.
If we have no humility, the very first thing that we will do is to evade accountability for our actions, or the lack thereof. We will point the blame to everybody else. Isn’t that easy?
How many times have we blamed people for the reason why we are broke? We blame the government for hiking taxes. We blame our employers for our state of being broke because of low salaries. But when was the last time we revisited our spending to see if we are buying things that are not really essential?
Justifying is another indication of the lack of humility. Have you ever had that experience when you are afraid to ask simply because you feel embarrassed? Here is the hard truth: you feel embarrassed because of your ego. A number of times we are afraid of letting other people know that we lack knowledge on a certain field. Or we simply don’t want to ask because the person we will ask is a lot younger than us; and it will hurt our pride to know that someone younger than us is either more knowledgeable or wiser than us.
In any arena, humility is a very important element for success.
Many of us perceive successful people as arrogant, lacking humility. But come to think of it, could it be that there must be a reason for us to believe that successful people are generally not as the arrogant people we think they are. That there are people who get drowned by their experience of success is another story. Instead, there may be sufficient reason for us to believe that humility is a trait that they possess.
The very first thing that we should do is to admit to ourselves that we do not want the current life situation that we are in. With that admission comes the desire to act or do something to take ourselves to the kind of life that we want. We must overcome the thought of believing the lie being whispered to us by our scared ego that we are just doing fine.
Successful people acknowledged the need to improve their life situation. They are where they are simply because they admitted the need to improve their lives and acted on that need.
We must also accept the fact that we do not know everything. And so we must keep on learning. Part of learning is the need to ask whatever information it is that we need, even when there might be a possibility of being mocked by other people for lacking knowledge. Let us bear in mind that knowledge is the best way to overcome fear.
Successful people did not turn away from learning. They mastered their craft and looked for ways to improve their skills. They had the humility to accept that there are people who are wiser than them and that they could seek counsel from them so that they will become better. They even followed the path of other successful people.
The value of humility can never be underestimated if we want to succeed in our life journey. It may take painful steps to swallow our pride. But the bitter pill of humility that leads us into becoming a better person will always be better than the sweet taste of our pride that keeps us stuck in a vicious cycle of pain.
Are you stuck in your life situation but just can’t admit it? Until when do you plan to justify?
Are you in a job that is no longer fulfilling? This might be the time for you to admit that you need to learn something new to improve your situation.
Do you have friends you haven’t seen in a long time only to find out how successful they are right now?
Are you one of those who need to increase his sources of income but are worried to ask how?
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Be blessed and be a blessing.