The most intoxicating quality you can develop.
“Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow.” — Michael Ramsey
I like to think I’m one of those people. By thinking I am, however, surely I am not.
I’m talking about humble people. The kind of humility that ensues on its own volition and not by deliberate attempt. Those who are truly thankful and appreciative for everything that flows in their direction — even the stuff that’s unwelcome.
These titans of spirit exemplify what it means to be a human being, fully grasping the understanding that everything in life is a gift and nothing — absolutely nothing — is produced solely on one’s own. These people act as if they are guests on the planet, thankful for every opportunity to make the world a little less dark. You can embody their essence yourself by modeling a similar frame of mind.
Here are five key distinctions of humble people and a few of the views they take on:
1. They see life as the inquirer, not an inquiry
Egotistical, insecure, and even self-reliant people question what life has in store for them on a recurring basis. The humble, modest, and grateful see it a little differently.
Instead of questioning life, they see life as the one questioning them — actively seeking a response in their actions and whether or not they will do the right thing. They view life as the landlord that will continue to seek the rent, with their ongoing contribution required. So instead of the incessant pondering, they simply prepare.
2. They accept full responsibility but understand what lies beyond their control
The humble realize there’s only so many opportunities to pardon the suffering and look to make nice with luck as often as possible. Karma points aside, expectations are dashed before they can evolve. Anything that goes right, credit is spread evenly. Anything that goes wrong, blame is imperceptible. Even placing it entirely on their shoulders would be an act of self-centeredness, as if they and they alone had the power to completely turn over the outcome.
The latent defensiveness that exists in much of society today is a non-factor with this group. There’s no need to put a wall up for they willingly accept they are a work in progress — grounded by reality, yet optimistic through hope.
3. They aren’t leveled by criticism
Humble people invite in recommendations for improvement like family friends. Their focus is on continued growth, improvement, and betterment of the entire situation at hand.
They look to kill complacency at first awareness, make marginal advances in whatever enters their proximity, and detract the all-powerful ego from gaining strength by remaining grateful for the mere ability to walk the walk of life.
4. They exude natural leadership
Humble people inspire us to be better and draw more objective conclusions. Simply by being themselves, they uplift us to a new possibility for who we could become with a newfound sense of acquiescence, as well as a heightened appreciation for just how selfless — not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less — a person could ultimately be.
5. They’re secure enough to forget themselves
Perhaps more than anything, we’re struck dumb by humility because they showcase a person doesn’t have to be so fearful to constantly be thinking of themselves — overanalyzing the ratio of what they’re getting in return for what they’re giving. There’s a certain boldness to someone who just is.
I sincerely hope in my lifetime I am able to channel that type of revered humility that’s clearly an art, not a science. The natural charm of the self-effacing is enough to disarm and gain the adoration of even the most combative, overwrought individuals.
Moreover, being around these people keeps us focused on what’s most important in life — making this world work for everyone, not just ourselves.