You Have to Be Humble to Be Successful

· December 2, 2016
Being humble is knowing how to be empathetic and respectful and not overpowering others. It is a useful concept that's worth practicing.

Being humble is more than a virtue, it is a value that we should all practice and pass on to our children.

However, nowadays it seems that many confuse “success” with power, and this is when they become egotistic.

There is an interesting Arab proverb that states, “We are born innocent creatures that become camels. Later we turn into lions and, finally, we become children.”

Human beings make complex personal journeys where we sometimes aspire to acquire strength and power. In other words, we wish to become “lions.”

Later on, we discover that we can find our true worth by having a gentle soul, which approaches life matters in a wise and humble way.

It is not easy to be humble in our day to day life. It requires small changes and other approaches that, without a doubt, will allow us to live a more harmonious life.

We invite you to reflect on this subject.

Successful people don’t look down on others

There are people who believe the word “humility” denotes a lack of something. In other words, they believe that humble people always put others before themselves.

On the other hand, other people often associate humility with Buddhism, a spiritual movement where Buddha reminded us of why it’s so important to have a noble heart and to detach ourselves from material things.

Buddha also reminded us of the importance of not clinging onto people to feel freer, more upstanding and respectful.

However, you do not look for complex explanations for something so simple, something so basic. Because to be humble is not to be poor, nor to be a member of a certain religion, movement or spiritual practice.

It’s common sense: humility is not believing you’re better than everyone else.

Instead, humility is believing in and practicing reciprocity. Above all, humility is not preached, but is practiced.

Let’s delve into this concept a little more.


Those who don’t practice what they preach

We all know of a public figure, politicians or big businessmen who preach the need to help the disadvantaged, to share, to foster more respectful environments, which offer more opportunities.

  • People like this preach great virtues that they do not carry out in private. For instance, think of cheap labor carried out in poor conditions in other countries, or labor exploitation and living standards of those who are publicly defended.
  • Furthermore, we don’t need to look at this issue on a wider context, as we can find examples of people who do not practice what they preach closer to home. For instance, we all have those friends or family who often talk about how much they do for others, and mention everything they have given up…

In other words, they boast about how great they are when, in fact, the only thing they have brought to the table is unhappiness to their closest relatives or friends.

It is necessary to reflect on this and take it into account. Every word we say aloud should match up with our behavior. We must act consciously and consistently.

Hence, those with a humble heart can truly reveal their noble actions, words and intentions. This will make us feel truly protected, respected and inspired by their behavior.

We all can learn to be humble

Positive psychology, founded by the psychologist Martin Seligman, understands and sees humility as an indispensable factor capable of creating happiness in our lives.

We can’t forget that positive psychology emerged as a clear need to provide human beings with adequate strategies to be in charge of and create their own well-being.

For a long time, psychology was created to treat diseases—in other words, to heal the pathological.

However, Martin Seligman has encouraged psychology to adopt this necessary turn in the opposite direction, which focuses on  reflecting on happiness, joy and optimism.

corazon humilde

We can all learn to be happy, joyful and optimistic. To have a more complete and balanced life, there is nothing better than to adopt and practice certain behaviors, that all involve humility.

Also read Patience and Silence: the Virtues of Wise People.

Here are some simple strategies to follow:

  • Recognize your mistakes and have the emotional maturity to correct them. Don’t do this to only promote your own well-being and growth, but also to bring happiness to those around you, who can see the effects of your evolution.
  • Learn to value what is important in life. Love, friendship, affection, sense of humor, empathy or being curious will give you that happiness you seek.
  • Do not believe that you’re more important than everyone else, because this will make others avoid you.
  • Appreciate the simple things in your life. Focus on the present. Observe, look at and try to learn everything about what surrounds you, including people.
  • Be a good role model for children. Teach them to be humble, to understand their emotions and to connect with and respect their peers.