“Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble,
When you’re perfect in every way.
I can’t wait to look in the mirror;
I get better looking each day.”
– Mac Davis, Hard to be Humble Lyrics (1980)
Often, humility is wrongly defined as a low view of oneself. Humility is not about elevation – how high or low your opinion of yourself is in comparison to your opinion of others. Humility is having an accurate opinion of yourself without a comparison of any kind.
Accuracy in our own opinions of ourselves is extremely difficult because of challenges of perspective. We each have a powerful capacity to design a universe that has us at the center. Our opinions, our views, our education and our background are assumed realities applied to the rest of the universe. Our perspective on the world defines much of how we think about what we know or don’t know. Therefore, our perspective is always more narrow than it is true. Perspective skews reality. Humility values diversity, which is necessary in pursuit of reality. And by “reality”, I don’t mean “reality” as defined by television. I mean truth.
Truth is always greater than my perception of it. Humility understands that “my truth” can only ever be a subset of real truth. Therefore true humility requires and creates true appreciation and respect for others. Each is necessary to create a great future for our community.
Humility is a pre-requisite to achievement. Humility makes us much more than we can ever be by ourselves. True power and great achievement come through teamwork and community. Humility removes our edges and enables us to work together with others to create an uplifting community or an exciting organization. Humility prepares us and removes the heat that comes when people operate in close proximity. We are each necessary to great team achievements and life-giving community.
Humility is also a pre-requisite for respect. When we respect others, we treat them as equals and demonstrate their value to us. Everyone wants to be valued. When we value others, we increase the possibility they will reciprocate. Valuing others, understanding their value, and appreciating their value is key to the power that comes from diversity and collaboration. When someone demonstrates respect and appreciation toward us, we elevate our purpose and more easily engage to improve, excel and be people of character.
Our actions and attitudes create our future. Would you like to create an exciting future rather than simply fall victim to whatever happens? Humility enables achievement and what we achieve today becomes the foundation of our future.