…is one of the 12 Essentials of Personal Excellence. And it’s the first essential of importance following BUILD YOUR CORE for a reason.
When your CORE gets stronger, it’s hard to not compare it with others. With more clarity, depth, comprehensiveness, significance and alignment, comes a predictable side effect — pride.
Humility is not about thinking less of yourself — it’s thinking about your self less. Thinking more highly of yourself than you ought is a form of pride, but so is too lowly of yourself — it’s called false humility. The right altitude is the right attitude. Icarus flew too high until his wax wings were melted by the sun — hence pride goeth before a fall. At BTL we recommend learning to humble yourself to spare yourself the humiliation of being humbled before others.
One of the unexpected but good predictable side effects of humility is reduced anxiety. As you learn to be content in your humble state, you will experience the blessing of a quiet spirit and a restful soul. Francis Schaeffer wrote about this in No Little People, No Little Places. If you seek a position or place or station too big for you, you forfeit inner peace — and effectiveness as a leader. This is the paradox of humility. The more you humble yourself, the more others will exalt you. Build a strong core and you will be extruded before you know it into the bigger place without forfeiting your quietness, and your influence as a leader will multiply.
I attended the first hour of Toto’s father-in-law Nick Cannell’s 2pm memorial service today, and heard story after story about his 101 years of legacy. His accomplishments as an entrepreneur are impressive, but his impact was less about what he did, and more about who he was. The stories recounted the strength of his humble, core-centered/self-controlling spirit, and how he prioritized others over himself. At age 98, he drove himself in his mini-van to pick up his pastor and take him to lunch. A bale of hay amount of letters were written to friends and loved ones, especially kids and grandkids. Grandkids fought through tears to describe personal convos Nickies was initiating just this past Christmas. It’s 4:30pm now, and I’m guessing Toto is still facilitating team practice, open-mic style, for the hundreds of masked gatherers honoring his life. When you live a humble life like Nickies, there will be lots to boast about, it just won’t be you doing the boasting.
If anxiety is a good litmus test, how’s yours lately? Are you focused on being present and being with, or obsessing about the next rung on the ladder? Who calls you out when you’re getting too big for your britches?
I may not believe in Santa Claus, but I sure believe in ol’ St. Nick.
Embrace it. Live it. Love it (Thanks, Toto)…