Many of us come from humble beginnings. We make something of ourselves through pursuit of knowledge, integrity, hard work, and a bit of good fortune. Yes, people have every right to be proud of the success that they’ve earned. But that doesn’t give them the right to be rude or disrespectful to others. As the saying goes, “Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.”
Some people, however, get a big thrill from boasting about their accomplishments or showing off their possessions. They’ve convinced themselves that they’re better than others. The fact is, some folks let success go to their head, and they gain a weird satisfaction from pushing people around. That’s wrong. On the other hand, just as it’s disgusting for the “haves” to look down on others, it’s equally disdainful for “have-nots” to resent those who’ve worked hard and have rightfully earned their success.
The truth is, all the money in the world doesn’t make you a better person. It simply means that you have more money. Real wealth is achieved by appreciating what you already have in life. After all, money can’t buy everything. It can’t buy a close-knit family, good friends, a clear conscience, work-life balance, a happy home, a second chance in life, or good karma, among other things.
So don’t let success go to your head. Be humble. Humility is a sign of strength, not weakness. People with humility possess an inner peace. They’re modest about their achievements, grounded in their values, and they have nothing to prove to others. They’re down to earth, comfortable in their own skin, and quietly proud. Humble people shift their focus from taking to giving, from talking about themselves to listening to others, from hoarding the credit to deflecting the praise, and from being a “know-it-all” to knowing there’s so much more in life worth learning. There’s no ego, no pretense, and certainly no gamesmanship. Humble people are authentic. As C. S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
How Do You Feel About Humility?
This is adapted from Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference in Your Life & in the Lives of Others By Frank Sonnenberg © 2014 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.