Humility

I had an epiphany about humility.

I read a fair number of individual blogs, people that I personally admire. There’s this awesome guy whose blog is a constant source of inspiration for me ever since. But recently, when I got myself into a life crisis, the more I read his blog, the more I feel demotivated. I decided not to read him anymore.

Then one day I realize why! Whether he’s intentional or not, he wants you to be jealous. He wants to tell you “hey I’m really awesome. these are what I did and what I thought”.

No matter how hard one try to be humble, all are pretentious. It’s either you have it, or you don’t. Reading and talking about humility don’t really help. In fact the more you talk about humility, the more clear you don’t have it.

You transform from a man of arrogance to a man of humility by throwing yourself out there doing real work, and fail, and then start doing it again.

A funny thing happens when I “try to be humble”: I have no problem appearing humble and fun to the people looking up to me. But when it comes to people with a higher status (or achieve more than me in the same field – in other word I already established a subconscious sense of jealousy towards them), I have this tinkling inertia that stops me from approaching a person of higher status. And when I finally got the gut to approach, I naturally want to tell them more about myself, hoping to earn some respect from them.

What needs to be changed is the very motivation system that we and society have built into our own body and mind, a motivation system built on ego and social self-consciousness.

“Stay humble” isn’t always the correct advice.

Know thyself.

  • Giao Vu

    And “know yourself” should come from, like you said, doing and failing. Before my life’s “major failures”, i thought I could do everything in the world and yet still talked about humility.