July 13, 2018

15. Humility



“I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.”

John Ruskin


Our Universal Man core principle of ‘know thyself’ comes to the fore in Humility.
When you are in touch with your truest self and ‘at peace’ with who you are you are freed from the ego battles that build within you.
As this energy grows it naturally leads to a profound sense of purpose and service of humanity and the planet itself. You grow to truly become a ‘universal man’ who is not just well-rounded but serves others above self and is accepting of the mantle of responsibility.
Importantly, Humility does NOT mean that you do not seek to be aspirational. We are all called as Universal Men to be the ‘best me I can be.’ Humility is often used as the excuse to not have a go, take something on and stand up. That is not humility.
Humility is a gracious acceptance of your gifts, roles and responsibilities and with their acceptance comes the privilege of pressure to enhance the world in which we live. From this space, we grow a deep sense of gratitude. The humble person is grateful, aware and does not shirk or take the service of others for granted.
The story is told of a University Professor in a Scottish Medical School. The medical students filed in for their final exam. The Professor said, “Today there will be two papers …begin work on Paper 1 now.” The students dived into the large exam paper full of the anticipated questions about anatomy and more. The second paper – a single sheet lay next to it. When time was called the Professor had the first exam paper collected. He then said, “Turn over Paper 2 and begin work now!” The curious medical students turned over the paper to reveal ONE single question, “What is the name of the tea lady who serves in the medical students’ cafeteria each day?” There was a grumble around the room, protests and frustration that their precious time was being wasted. When no one could answer the question the Professor said, “Her name is Mrs Smythe – Shirley actually, and she has been serving you for the last six years. We as medical professionals must always be about people first – when we are – we will become the medical professionals we are called to be and this world so desperately needs.”


There is good ego – that drives you (from inside) to become your best self. The false ego wants to be in a competition, where you win and others lose.
Humility will focus on and be driven by our WHO (our core, our essence). Humility does not focus on the titles and the ‘whats’ of our lives. It is focused on being greater today than you were yesterday.
The humble person when you are with them – you meet their WHO, not their what. And invariably – you come away deeply impressed – deeply touched and influenced by them – you have met the deeper them – not some title or accolade.
Our achievements are good and something we should be proud of. Our CV, our ‘what’ will give you a credibility and get you in the door but it will be your ‘who’ what will take your message (and very self) into their minds and hearts. Your whats are built upon your hard work and this hard work only serves to strengthen your sense of a deeper self – your rock that will not be shattered no matter what storms come your way.
So both your WHO and your WHAT play an important part in building your overall humility. But WHO comes first.
Humility is NOT Trickily there are many versions of false humility:
– The times where you refuse to step forward because you don’t want to be judged is
just a version of the tall poppy syndrome that you’re playing on yourself. – When someone always plays the martyr – appearing to serve the other but the real
energy is very me focussed, seeking attention and love but in an egoic way.
Remember, the false ego loves competition – almost as an end in itself. Its ‘winning’ depends upon the other losing. The false ego locks us into a life-sapping dualism where I can only ‘win’ and become my best self if the other is lower than me. This type of false victory is never satisfied.
So often they are caught up in the group’s ego as well and have lost touch with their true purpose and the human element that makes all journeys noble. When one is caught up in their competitive world you are never truly at peace with your own self. The circle narrows and more and more it is about ME, we begin to believe our own press and everyone and everything is framed in terms of a win-lose competition.


Some practical steps

  • Build your self-awareness and knowledge of self. Learn your fears, dreams and any tendencies you have to compare yourself or let your ego off its leash
  • Become at peace with who you are. This is no small ask. But the more you learn to forgive yourself and be 100% comfortable with where you are in life the more your  humilty is given a chance. You’ve got faults. We all do. Get over it. Be ok with it. You’re not perfect. None of us are.
  • Practice random acts of kindness (RAK). Make a note in your daily diary – RAKs – and in some small way (no matter how small) do something for someone else that draws absolutely no attention to yourself and they will probably never know about it. Make this a habit – and you will become aware of a new magic in your life.
  • Be involved in a cause that stretches you and is other centred.
  • When in the public speaking sphere or even when engaging with your team at work – know your audience and be focussed on them.
  • Practice ‘presence’ when you are speaking with someone – make a deliberate choice to deeply listen and be totally ‘other centred’. Stop trying to be interesting and just be interested
  • Work on your sense of team – be other centred – at work ask whose agenda are you serving?
  • Trust your hard work and keep building mastery and leaving an impact through your work.
  • Accept the mantle of responsibility when an opportunity arises and stop making excuses.

The Litmus test of Humility recently, Greg in his The Inner Chief podcast series met a very successful businessman and a household name. The man met him at the door, welcomed him, showed him around his home, introduced Greg to his wife and then proceeded to personally make Greg a coffee. In the ensuing conversation and before the podcast, again, the focus from the interviewee constantly and naturally turned to Greg and his project. The host was welcoming, accepting, humble and present.
The true test of humility will be to what extent the world is a better place today because you contributed to it. Is it more peace-filled? Is there more joy? Humility will release and nurture the inner chief within each one of us. Each one of us is called to truly encounter our inner chief. The inner chief knows who he truly is and is at peace. This peace leads him naturally to encounter those he meets free of any ego need to win but only to grow and to serve. Paradoxically, this leads to an ever-stronger sense of self and a humility which inspires and transforms.
Stay legendary
Pricey and Grego