We’ve been discussing the power of forming good habits as a way to live lives of purpose, passion, and joy.
There’s another kind of habit that also is essential to living this kind of life – the habit of living with humility.
If greed is the root of all evil (as the Bible says), then humility, it’s opposite, is the antidote. In fact, humility has been called the greatest of all virtues and the foundational virtue for all of the others.
Why acquire this virtue as a habit? Three reasons:
- – Humility keeps us open to learning and learning is so key to expanding our lives in ways that enrich us and others. How can one live with purpose, passion, and joy if they believe they have nothing more to learn?
- – Humility draws others to us – and our relationships with others are a great source of joy. When we live with humility – showing interest in others and not just ourselves, we draw them to us – they want to be with us and in relationship with us. And it is serving and loving others and being in a relationship with them that gives us many of our greatest joys in life.
- – Humility leads to true wealth – Some of the wealthiest people I (Matt) know (not just financially but also socially, emotionally and intellectually) are humble men and women. In living this virtue, they are honored and loved by others – their family, friends, and colleagues – and the result is wealth – in all of its forms.
My pastor once said that humility is not thinking less of oneself, but thinking of oneself less. That’s an important concept because humility is not an attitude of thinking of ourselves in negative destructive ways. Rather, it lies in seeing the great potential that lies in our own hearts and the hearts of others – and choosing to focus on bringing out that potential in others.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, “the proud man counts his newspaper clippings; the humble man, his blessings.” As each of us pursues lives of purpose, passion, and joy, let’s practice each day the virtue of humility – through it we will be richly blessed and we will be a source of blessing to others.