What Does It Mean To Be Humble
Knowing how to be humble isn’t always an easy process, but learning from the experience of others can help us attain a simpler and more rewarding outlook on life. As one of the wealthiest people in the world, for example, Warren Buffett was recently asked why he continues to live in a modest home that he purchased for $31,500 in 1958. Buffett answered, “I’d move if I thought I’d be happier somewhere else.”
“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up” – Jesse Jackson
For individuals like Buffett, part of a life well-lived involves actively cultivating a personal sense of deep and genuine humility. So how can we learn more about the role that humility ought to play in our own lives? What does it mean to be humble in today’s world? Here are just a few great ways to cultivate an attitude of humility in the face of life’s challenges, and why doing so can put you on the path towards genuine happiness.
1. Make Your Work Meaningful
When we become obsessed with using our career to get ahead in life, our life’s work can quickly become a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Unfortunately, that kind of restless lifestyle can lead to feelings of burnout and discontentment. Always chasing the next promotion or award, we can quickly find ourselves living more in the future than in the present.
Indeed, sometimes pursuing an attitude of humility in life also means finding joy in work for its own sake. If we’re always hopping from one ring of the corporate ladder to the next simply to outdo our neighbors or friends, we’ll never truly find satisfaction in our careers.
Too often, however, people live under the delusion that happiness can only be found somewhere after the next big achievement. For these people, life can quickly become an endless cycle of dissatisfaction and frustration.
2. Find Common Ground with Others
When cultivating an attitude based around a humble outlook on life, we’ll soon find that the notion of feeling superior to other people goes against our worldview. Humility doesn’t just involve displaying the outward signs of a modest lifestyle, it means genuinely finding common ground with the whole of humanity.
When we judge others solely by their finances or their social position, in other words, we’ll naturally begin to move from an attitude of humility to one of snobbery. No matter how wealthy or successful we become, we should never lose sight of our fundamental equality with other people.
3. Appreciate Simple Pleasures
While there is nothing wrong with accumulating wealth via honest work, the truth is that humility can make even a simple lifestyle a deeply satisfying component of our existence.
Indeed, finding joy in life’s simple pleasures can bring us a genuine sense of happiness if we let it. Whether we’re enjoying a good cup of tea on an autumn day or reading a favorite book on a lazy Sunday afternoon, a simple life can provide us with a deep sense of satisfaction. Like Warren Buffett, we shouldn’t need to live in a multi-million dollar mansion to find contentment.
4. Practice Gratitude
For many of us, it is easy to fall into the trap of focusing on what we don’t have rather than what we’re already blessed with. Taking a bit of time each day to cultivate a sense of appreciation and gratitude for the good things that we have in life can be a great way to develop a genuine and lasting sense of humility.
It’s natural to feel jealousy at times, to be sure, but regularly cultivating negative emotions such as envy or anger can lead an unhappy and unhealthy life. If we’re continually trying to keep up with the Joneses, we’ll find it difficult to remain humble.
5. Use Mindfulness to Appreciate the Present Moment
As some of the world’s most successful people will tell you, mindfulness or meditation can enable us to appreciate the importance of living in the present moment. If we’re filled with envy or regret, it can become easy to dwell excessively on thoughts about the future or the past.
In contrast, mindfulness allows us to temporarily put aside our worries and focus on what truly matters. If we can find the good in the current moment, in other words, we’ll be sure to approach new challenges with a humble and positive attitude.
6. Focus on the Needs of Other People
While it is human nature to feel absorbed by our own problems at times, we can end up turning a blind eye to the needs of others when we become wrapped up in our own issues.
Whether we’re dedicating time to charitable work or simply listening more closely to what our friends have to say about their problems, making a conscious effort to empathize with other people can be a great way to develop an attitude of humility.
7. Know When to Ask for Help
For many of us, asking for help is almost something of a taboo. Indeed, when we’ve been raised to believe that asking for help from others is a sign of weakness, we’ll often go it alone when we hit a bad patch in life.
Unfortunately, allowing our pride to get in the way of seeking out help can make the process of overcoming personal setbacks difficult or even impossible to manage. To cultivate a true sense of humility in our lives, it is crucial that we be able to ask others for help when we need it.
For these reasons, cultivating an attitude of humility is often one of the most critical steps that we can take in life. When we put more effort into activities such as practicing gratitude throughout our day, finding joy in our work, and seeing the good in other people, we’ll exponentially increase our sense of personal satisfaction and happiness.
It isn’t always easy to change our outlook, of course, but making a conscious effort to cultivate a humble and generous worldview can make all the difference in life. Indeed, a humble life is life at its best!