Eight Great Ways to a Humbler You
Most of us wouldn’t mind being a little more humble, but oh how we hate to be humbled! That hurts our pride, but that kind of pain is good for us if we can welcome it and let it accomplish its purpose. Remember the mantra of Olympians: No pain, no gain!
1. Look for the best in people. Everyone has had some experience you haven’t and is your superior in that respect. Albert Einstein, who is largely regarded as one of the greatest minds ever, said, “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.”
2. Give sincere compliments. It’s hard to look down on others while telling them what you admire about them. The more you put positive thoughts about others into words, the more good you’ll see in them and the less likely you will be to fall into the egotism trap.
3. Be quick to admit your mistakes. It’s been said that the hardest words to say in any language are “I was wrong.” Those who refuse to do so out of pride are likely to keep making the same mistakes and alienate people in the process.
4. Be the first to apologize for an argument. If “I was wrong” are the hardest words to say, “I’m sorry” have to be the next hardest. It will kill your pride, as well as the argument—two evil birds with one small stone of humility.
5. Admit your limitations and needs. It’s human nature to want to appear strong and self-sufficient, out of pride, but that usually only makes things harder. Humble yourself and ask for and accept the help of others, and you’ll come out miles ahead.
6. Serve others. Volunteer to help the elderly, the infirm, or children, or do some other form of community service. You’ll gain more than you give, both in humility and loving thanks.
7. Learn something new—a new skill, language, sport, or hobby. Starting from scratch is nearly always humbling, but the rewards are manifold: You’ll come out of the experience a little more humble; your example of “doing the humble thing” will encourage others and, contrary to what your pride tells you, win their admiration and respect.
8. Give God the credit for anything good about you and anything good that He helps you do. “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord!” (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Or as David Brandt Berg put it, “Give God all the glory for anything good about you, and yourself all the blame for anything bad. That’s a pretty good rule, because it’s usually right.”
True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us.
Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.
—William Temple, Sr.
We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.
Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.
—John J. McCloy
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