The Power of Humility
What would you say the opposite of Humility is?
Maybe a big Ego?
One Saturday night in July about 5 years back, I was at a local watering hole in the neighbourhood that I grew up in and I bumped into an old school friend of mine. We were knocking back a few beers and chatting – and at one point during the conversation, he says, “Lee, do you know that I own four houses, and do you know that I have a platinum credit card”! This without me asking him anything along those lines. Look, I have nothing against the guy, and I mean in all other terms he is actually quite a likeable person. However, I found the bragging a bit distasteful. I am sure in your experience you have a friend or an acquaintance who is always telling you what they have, or who they are – and it’s actually quite sad. I mean someone that brags all they telling you is “I’m better than you”, that’s it. And as human beings, you and me, we all crave a sort of feeling of importance right. You love to feel important and so do I. So how can this approach of telling people “I am better than you” ever work in your favour?
Now further to that here is something else I discovered, and when I realized this it blew my mind, honestly it absolutely blew my mind – the higher up on the ladder of success you go the more crucial this thing called humbleness becomes. I’m going to let you into a little study I’ve been doing – I’ve been driving all over Johannesburg and Pretoria interviewing these hugely successful Entrepreneurs and Millionaires. You know to try and get inside their minds – to try and understand what makes them winners because I would also like to become a winner one day, so I want to understand what sets them apart. Now besides the common thread that you would imagine going through all of these successful individuals like – Bravery, Fearlessness, being Goal-Orientated, having a Vision and being Positive, you know all of those things that are crucial to success. I discovered something quite amazing, subtle, but phenomenal and here it is – there seems to be this Upper-Class level of success. Now when I say upper class these individuals have everything in terms of material and financial success – the beautiful homes and cars, boats, holiday houses – just about every material thing that you can imagine right. And I used to think this was the highest level of success one could achieve or attain. However, I was wrong. After about four or five interviews I started realizing that there is actually a level above this upper class, and for the purposes of this blog, I am going to call it the World-Class level of success. I’m not talking socio-economic terms here. Now the only thing that seems to separate this Upper-Class level of success from the World-Class level is basically Humility.
In terms of material success, the world class are just as well off as the upper class but they do not walk around with this inflated ego and they have this down-to-earth way about themselves.
Would you know how to identify the upper class level of success?
It’s actually quite easy – for one thing a sure sign you dealing with an upper class individual or an “ego-driven” successful person is that they have all the wealth and money in the world but they leave a trail of broken relationships going out the door. Their mantra always seems to be “I’m bigger than you, I’m better than you, I’m smarter than you, I’m stronger than you, I wanna beat you, and you, and you, and you”. I don’t want to live like that, do you? I just want to help as many people as I can. Another thing, they can never be wrong – whatever they say that’s the way it is. And I mean we all know it’s impossible to be right all the time, right? It’s in our nature; it’s in human nature to make a mistake now and again, right? Also, studying the lives of the really, really, great ones – people like Nelson Mandela for example. These great ones almost seem to transcend this upper class and move one-step higher just by adding humility to their way of doing things. I mean it is just such a phenomenal concept.So, that’s the Power of Humility, and no matter where you are in your life there always seems to be a case for it. If you an average guy like me being humble will help you connect better with more people because you not telling them “I’m better than you”. And if you at a fairly high level of success already, I mean in terms of material and worldly success, being humble will help move you into that very rare class of the World-Class individual.