Humility is such an undervalued and unpopular virtue. It is quite easy to overlook humility in a world that encourages competition and individuality. Doing your best to be good in every way is a good thing, but while in pursuit of good, it is important to keep a level head and your feet on the ground. Humility is of paramount importance in every healthy relationship. In fact, doing your best to live a humbler life can change your life for the better.

  1. Recognize your flaws

It is much easier to identify faults in other people, and it requires a lot of humility to recognize your own faults and admit when you are wrong. What’s more, spending a lot of time judging other people is mostly unproductive and can even be hurtful to the relationship in the long run. In the end, we can’t really control what people say and how they act. That said, quiet introspection will prove to be a more productive exercise. Recognize your own flaws and try to work on them. You could also try to identify some of the skills you lack or might not be very good at and try to improve them. Always remember that personal growth is a lifelong journey.

  1. Practice gratitude, avoid bragging

So, you have been working hard for years and it has finally paid off! You are about to graduate from one of the most prestigious schools in the country. It is okay and even necessary to be proud of your achievements, after all, you are the one who spent sleepless nights to make this a reality. It is just as important you keep your feet firmly planted on the ground while sharing your experience. You probably did not do it alone. You probably had financial support from your parents or perhaps a friend of yours always helped you study. There might have been many others who were more hardworking than you but did not have this support system, so they were not able to enjoy similar success. Be proud of your own personal efforts; don’t judge other people’s outcomes, and always be grateful for the people who participated in your journey when sharing your experience with others. Besides, constantly bragging about your achievements is only going to push people away from you.

  1. It is okay to make mistakes

Mistakes are going to be part of your journey and acknowledging this will help you to live a humbler life. This does not in any way mean that you should become careless and keep repeating the same obvious mistakes. It helps you to remember that you are human (and fallible); and it gives you the courage to keep trying new methods while also making you humble enough to listen to more experienced people. This, in turn, gets you closer to your goals.

  1. Do not hide your mistakes

Acknowledging that you are going to make mistakes is one thing, having the bravery to admit those mistakes is another thing. Often, our egos can push us to cover up our mistakes, especially when we are in a position of power. How would you tell your subordinate that the deal did not go through because of a mistake you made? It would certainly be easier for you to just cover it up or blame someone else.

“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us. Whether individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to.” – Simon Sinek
People will respect you more if you admit your own mistakes because you will be telling them that you are not perfect. You will become an inspiration to them.

Humility is an important virtue that helps us cultivate other qualities that bring out the best in ourselves and those around us. Keep practicing the habits presented above, in order to live a humbler life.

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24 Comments

Adaego M. Azi · August 18, 2020 at 8:58 pm

duppydomTEAM – being humble is something that is very close to my heart. In fact, it is very close to the heart of all Africans. I like your discussion about gratitude. I also read the other article, and really liked the idea of starting and maintaining a gratitude practice – such a cool way to say this. I also belief that gratitude is connected to other virtues, like hope and faith. I really like this article – thank you.

    duppydomTEAM · August 24, 2020 at 3:50 am

    Adaego, we appreciate your comments. Glad to hear that humility to close to you heart and close to the hearts of all Africans – humility is nobility! The Carpenter (2020) article is very interesting, and as he mentioned in the article, the benefits of the gratitude practice are endless. Gratitude is considered the parent of all virtues – “a noble person is mindful and thankful of the favors he receives from others” – Buddha 🙏🙌🙌

      Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:34 am

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Amara Kone · August 18, 2020 at 11:15 pm

I have talked about this with friends before. Everyone is so concerned about collecting things and “living large”, what’s wrong with just living a simple and humble life? It doesn’t mean you have to live like a monk, but most of us have too much “stuff” that we can live without. Simplicity/living humbly is always better.

    duppydomTEAM · August 24, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Amara, thank you very much for your comments. Living humbly, can mean doing without all the trappings of life. It is referred to as the minimalist lifestyle. Becker (2020) argued that “minimalism is intentionally living with only the things I really need—those items that support my purpose. I am removing the distraction of excess possessions so I can focus more on those things that matter most.” ☮🧘‍♂‍ The essential principles of a simple lifestyle include – it is intentionality; it is freedom from the passion to possess; it is freedom from modern mania; it is freedom from duplicity; it is counter-cultural; it is not external, but internal.

      Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:35 am

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Lisa Steffler · August 19, 2020 at 12:48 am

For me, humility is a trait that all of us should possess. Whether you are a Christian or not, it is a good thing to be humble. I also think when you work with the needy, it humbles you. You see how little some people have and how some are happy even when they have so little. I have never heard of humility in the same vein as making and hiding mistakes, but I get it. This is a very worthwhile topic to discuss. Again, may God bless you, duppydom.

    duppydomTEAM · August 24, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Thank you, Lisa. You are right – working with the poor and disadvantaged can quickly lead to being humble. In addition to a sense of joy and satisfaction, humility is another benefit of being charitable – you soon start to realize how much you have in comparison to many, and how little you really need to be happy in life ☺ Your definition of success in life also changes. You realize that success is not about possessions of worldly goods. It’s about living a life with ethical and moral values 🙏

      Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:35 am

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S. Jakes · August 19, 2020 at 5:25 am

duppydomTEAM – “It is quite easy to overlook humility in a world that encourages competition and individuality” – I agree with this statement. I know what humility is, but you don’t really hear people talk about it. Unless, someone is bragging about something and someone says, “try being humble”. I didn’t know there were different aspects to humility. I assume that humility and meekness are the same thing? Thank you, duppydomTEAM. I learned something today 👏

    duppydomTEAM · August 24, 2020 at 3:48 am

    S. Jakes – thank you. Great question: Meekness and Humility are not the same thing. Meekness means having a mild, even-tempered spirit. The meek use silence over arguing and use a gentle voice and gentle body language, when dealing with other people (versus being load and obnoxious) – these are their strengths when dealing with people. Humility on the other hand are a set of habits people engage in when maneuvering the world. Think as meekness as “referring to behavior towards others”, and humility as “referring to an attitude towards oneself.” A meek person can also be humble 💝

      Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:36 am

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    Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:36 am

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Bruce Peters · August 19, 2020 at 11:03 pm

This is an interesting article. I liked the section about not hiding mistakes. I agree that people in positions of power cannot have egos – they should be humble. A manager/leader cannot effectively lead employees if everything is about him/her, or if he/she makes a mistake the blame goes to a subordinate. I have worked for a manager like this before (one who “could do no wrong”) and it devastated the team. Humility in a leader shows that the leader is human.

    duppydomTEAM · August 24, 2020 at 3:48 am

    Bruce, thank you for sharing your comments. Yes, you are correct. In the current work environment, even managers are afraid of losing their job. And is probably the impetus for covering up their mistakes. But, as you have indicated, a “do no wrong boss” is sending the wrong message. Effective managers/leaders show humility. Showing humility is inspirational and makes the manager approachable, instead of being in an “ivory tower” 🏛

      Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:37 am

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Amie Warwick · August 20, 2020 at 2:18 am

Hi duppydom – I would not say that I thought about living a humbler life pre-coronavirus, but now I certainly do (my husband too). I would say it’s mostly around the practicing gratitude part of being humble. We don’t have a lot, but I realized that during the coronavirus, we have more than a lot of people do. So we started being grateful for what we have, and started giving to some of the less fortunate. Giving to people in a shelter makes you realize that we complain a lot about things we shouldn’t – and perhaps that a flaw that a lot of us have. Being humble makes you humble – is that a thing? 😂

    duppydomTEAM · August 24, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Amie – your comments are greatly appreciated. “Giving to people in a shelter makes you realize that we complain a lot about things we shouldn’t – and perhaps that a flaw that a lot of us have” – agreed 🗣 Instead of complaining, we should get in the habit of giving gratitude. Does “being humble makes you humble” – interesting question. I assume being humble might make you feel you should adopt more habits and live an even humbler lifestyle?

      Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:38 am

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    Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:37 am

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Nadine Wu · August 20, 2020 at 4:53 am

duppydom – thank you very much for highlighting the components of humility. I have some people in my life who are always pointing out my flaws – that is probably where I got it from ❌ Showing gratitude is good. It shouldn’t be about collecting things and still being ungrateful ❌ It’s good to admit that I make mistakes – I am only human ✅ I don’t have a big ego – it could cause me to hide my mistakes ✅ From my analysis, it looks like I am halfway there. I have a few things to work on.

    duppydomTEAM · August 24, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Nadine – we appreciate your analysis. It’s obvious that you want to life a humbler lifestyle. Your approach is impressive. You are showing the first habit of humility identified in the article – recognizing your flaws. Kudos 👏

      Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:39 am

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    Adaego M. Azi · August 26, 2020 at 2:39 am

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