How to Cultivate Your Humble Spirit

by Michael Corthell

When you know you're good at something, you get that sense of pride. It is very hard not to. In his early life, Benjamin Franklin was very disciplined and diligent in improving the defects in his own character. Looking back, in his autobiography, on his efforts to gain humility, he said, ''In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, [but]it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself.''

I agree, it is a constant struggle, especially among those of us who are blessed by God with many talents (and therefore responsibilities) to share with the world.

''Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength.''
 —Eric Hoffer

When we teach our children self-confidence, we teach them pride in accomplishment and how special they are, but often times we fail to teach appreciation of other peoples specialness — that all human beings are unique and have special talents to share with the world.

We always have to remember that some virtues and positive attributes can and do often conflict, reminding us once again that life is a matter of balance and moderation in all things.

How can we become kinder, more humble people in a 'me-me' age, where increasing racial, ethnic and religious tensions undermine our society?

Starting with the last first: Be an example. Once you become genuinely humble, never underestimate the power of teaching through example. Humility must be consistently modeled as a way of life. If we all become service oriented and practice humility, our societies and civilization will be transformed.

You must choose. Whether we have pride or humility, it is an individual choice that we make.

Have self-confidence. This does sound counter intuitive, but it is very important to understand that humility always comes from a position of faith, strength, and confidence in one's self.  And always encourage people to be the very best they can be.

''Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.''
— Matthew 23:12

Understand and have Faith that being humble is the right thing to do. Also understand that, by practicing any virtue, there are rewards and benefits, such as: humble people are better able to cope with anxiety about their existence. Humility soothes your soul. Humble people tend to find it provides a useful perspective on life and how it should be lived.

Humble people in leadership roles are not only better liked, as you might imagine, but they are also more effective in motivating others.

The more humility you have, the greater your self-control, which is one of the keys to a successful life. Humble people tend to know their limits.

Humble people are not prejudiced. One of the characteristics of being humble is having a low sense of entitlement. Humble people don't think they are owed things. This makes you have a less prejudiced view of the world, encouraging you to be more tolerant toward others and less defensive about your own beliefs.

By practicing the virtue of humility, you will have more friends and cultivate much more rewarding relationships. You will not be lonely.

Finally what the world needs now: Humility paves the way for kindness to take root. People that practice humility are much more likely to give to others that are in need. They are better empathizers, they don't just sympathize with the plight of others — they DO SOMETHING.

''Blessed are the meek[humble]: for they shall inherit the earth.''
—Matthew 5:5

The Power of Honesty, Humility & Humor

by Steve Shenbaum

Steve Shenbaum explains how honesty, humility, and humor allow us to be the best we can be in life. Steve is considered one of the industry's leading experts in character development, team-building, and communication training. Part of TEDxSarasota's inaugural conference held on 12/12/12 with the theme "Creativity Matters" at the Historic Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida.