Inertia - Nº83
Don't be so humble, you're not that great
Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement
— Golda Meir
I’m slated at work for my modesty. It’s not a bad thing—but it is strange to me nonetheless. I’ve never been one to solemnise my triumphs, and I always thought we generally preferred the silent heroes. The covert operators whose job made life easier for others and didn’t require a thank you or pat on the back. But that’s also my problem.
A note I leave to myself now: celebrate your successes. Because honestly, they’re not as great as your modesty makes them out to be. The road to self-mastery is painted with tiny victories you can experience on the way. It could be the success of having a more efficient way of working and later improving your communication skills significantly over the past week. It could be finally asking out the person you’ve liked for a while and then reaching the next stage of proficiency at a skill you’ve worked hard for.
Small successes need the grace of honour and praise because otherwise, we forget that they’re small successes and a part of our bigger picture.
In the last seven months that I’ve been at my job, I’ve brought in processes and resources for teams and individual members that made a big difference in how they work. I even sprinkled in a touch of sound teaching and buoyant communication to make their experience of working with me a bit better. And during this time, I’ve been told by a few colleagues that teams have loved working with me since the beginning, thanks to these little successes.
This is great, right? But all I’ve been doing is neutralising the positive impact I’ve had in order to focus on just doing a better job. While this might be a powerful mentality, it ceases to preserve my happiness in my job. And I lose sight of enjoying the moment.
Humility has deep roots in our concepts of lowliness. When you hear or think about humility, what do you understand or mean by it?
Is there a sense of inferiority? Of lowliness in comparison to someone or something else? Perhaps you use it to highlight or express a form of appreciation for someone or something? If humility means staying grounded to you, having your feet firmly planted in the rich, nourishing earthiness of your being—then it’s a beautiful and necessary thing.
But suppose it means you believe you’re less than someone else, that you can never and shouldn’t even aspire to the greatness and grandeur and capabilities of your potential. In that case, that’s certainly not the kind of humility you should be interested in.
Those that know humility know they are no different to you and me. We are all from the same source and have access to that same limitless potential of that one source.
Creating something extraordinary and experiencing success comes from the heart of embracing love for your life’s trajectory, having responded to your life experiences positively, and making productive choices and goals that come not from any remarkable quality in your personality. In all, do not hide in the madness of fulfilling your potential. Instead, your inner knowing, wisdom, presence and strength to withstand.
Our time is limited, so let’s not waste it on living a life trapped by dogma—living with the results of other people’s thinking, as Steve Jobs famously stated. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown your inner voice. And don’t be so humble; there’s much more to come from you.
What I’ve Learned
The beauty of mending your mental health
I experienced an episode in my mental health bottoming out last Sunday (more on this in future writing), and there was a large delta between how good I felt about myself the day before and how I felt in that moment. I switched off from my phone, messaging people. And I put more time into the activities I loved doing. The effects were so good that it’s safe to say I’ll be doing this sort of thing again.
8 timeless principles from the Stoics
By Ash Lamb
You have two major tasks in life: being a good person and pursuing the occupation you love. Focus on these two things, and before you know it, you’ll become the very best version of yourself.
Focus your energy on those things you can control: your thoughts and actions.
Invest more time in forging a bulletproof character: think about who you’d be if everything was stripped from you.
Train yourself to be happy with very little: conquer the need to conquer the world.
Prepare yourself for the worst: put yourself to the test every day, and be comfortable with the uncomfortable. But don’t live your life expecting that the worst will always come. Just note how you can conquer it.
The best retreat is within yourself: If you don’t feel at ease, happy, within yourself and with where you are right now, don’t expect a holiday to fix that.
Timeless things will make your life better: timely things will often make it worse.
Always remember that everything has a hidden cost: don’t be fooled by false perceptions or feeble excuses, or you’ll pay a very high price.
Consistency is proficiency
Ava wrote that consistency always comes before proficiency: once you realise the first step of knowing what you’re willing to do every day for the rest of your life, you can move towards understanding that the things you fear are not real. Practice and don’t stop.
What’s on My Mind
Self-care has been on my mind lately, as it’s been a terrific focal point for me this week. Nothing’s ever taken me from rock bottom to feeling happy enough to cry than self-care has. I implore everyone to figure out what gives them happiness with little effort (not people) and spend more time on it.
One Question for You
How has your life changed from this time last year? Has it improved?
Plenty of love for you, the reader, for continuing to enjoy these musings.