Key Takeaway: The greater you get, the lesser you become: Truly purposeful living is always humble. How can you be a more humble person Today?
How many times have you come to hear of, or speak with, someone who has achieved so much, and keeps on bragging about it – and thus turns you off, regardless of their success?
On the other hand, how many times have you come to hear of, or speak with, someone who at first seems very unassuming, but then you hear so much praise from others that they are so-and-so or have done such-and-such?
Being with the latter kind of person feels so much better – they remain humble and modest despite everything, and don’t keep the attention to themselves by self-promotion and self-praise. In fact, they want to shift the focus to the other, and stay down-to-earth and nice, open to learning and new experiences.
I know people of both kinds – the unpleasant air of the former and the inspiring aura of the latter – and definitely, I always want to distance myself from the former, and always mingle with the latter.
In living a purposeful life, humility and modesty are essential ingredients. “What does being humble have to do with my life or the things I do?” you may ask. A lot: Remember, part of purposeful living includes awareness towards the self and others – and this includes the way we conduct ourselves, being mindful of its impact on both others and ourselves.
The bamboo is a plant that, for thousands of years, has been used in so many things in Asia from chopsticks and food to medicine and construction. It is known for its durability, its natural antibacterial properties, and its quick growth. Yet it remains a humble and un-diva-like plant – and even yields to fungus once it reaches a certain age. It is one of the most versatile and “purposeful” plants out there, but also quite unassuming.
So is living a purposeful life. In fact, the closer we are to living our so-called “ideal” life (“ideal” in the sense that it is close to our purpose), the more low-profile we should be. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t work to stand out – we should aim to stand out, in the sense that we all have our own unique higher callings – but the way we behave ourselves and act should still be very rooted and inconspicuous.
Many of the truly great leaders of our society walked their own path and attracted much fanfare for it, but they continued to live humbly and without pretense, such as Jesus himself and Gandhi, but also people like Pope Francis, Celine Dion, and Princess Srinagarindra (mother of the current King of Thailand). And, of course, they’re just the tip of the iceberg: the many unsung heroes of today who have done great things but were never, or warded off, the praise and reward, are just as much in the same vein.
It’s paradoxical how these kinds of people inspire us so much, and everyone feels encouraged to follow them, yet they do no more than their duty, their higher obligations, without being noisy about it. And ironic the other way around – those who demand following don’t get it. But that’s the magic of truly good living: Through acts, through lifestyle, rather than words or attitude, we lead the change.
Have a purposeful weekend!