Recently I wrote a piece that examined why humility is the one character trait that will transform your marketing, and how that same trait will do more to positively assist your career development than any other. The post was received well, gaining some attention on my social feeds and sparking some good discussion here and there. One thing that surprised me was that the last paragraph of that piece sparked some created some debate.
You can read the entire post for yourself to see what you think when you have a moment but the nature of the last paragraph was to program ourselves to hope for others to gain more recognition and success over us. “Why would I want to actually hope for someone’s success to happen before my own?” On face value, I would agree that it does not make sense, but it is this very conflict in which we refine our ability to honestly and sincerely understand humility. When we can do that our natural talents and skills will be brought to their fullest potential.
Let’s take a closer look at that last paragraph and consider the nuance a little more closely.
I choose to create new hopes.
I hope others to be esteemed more than I.
I hope others to be others to be chosen before me
I hope others to be others may be praised and I unnoticed
I hope others to be preferred to me in everything,
I hope others to become humbler than I, provided that I may become as humble as can.
First, remember that the two sections of this humility mantra have to do with tamping down self-centered desires and self-centered fears. Those two come first in the mantra because without taking care of both of those areas the last section, creating a new set of hopes, is not only unattainable but we will probably never be able to fully surrender ourselves to them.
We want to develop a distaste for the spotlight, for praise, for preference, for consultation. That is what is being programmed here, an honest recognition that becoming attached to those things in that last paragraph prohibit us from eliminating the self-centered desires and fears that hinder our ability to serve others. When we sincerely hope that we are not placed in the spotlight, that we are not the first one immediately sought after for our opinion or expertise, and not the one who is most noticed for our skills and talents, we are completely free to focus completely on how those skills and talents should be put to use. Focusing on the purpose of our abilities free from any consequence of the act of exercising them.
Here is the irony. If we eliminate the self-centered desires and fears and create a distaste for the spotlight, our work and efforts become more noticed and recognized.
Get it or does it make your head hurt a little? If you said yes to both that is a good sign. Humility is a lifelong battle that is fueled by the wisdom of experience. Embrace the struggle and fight every day to shut down those self-centered desires and fears and train your appetites to shun the spotlight.
If you’re successful, your talent and skill will reach as broadly as they can possibly reach.