Humility as a character trait has a number of definitions. As I have thought about humility, what it is and how to get it, I have come up with some definitions, descriptions, and best practices to accelerate my growth in becoming a humble man. A definition that I have developed for myself and for those I have some influence over in training is, “Humility is recognizing that I need others in my life to grow in wisdom, character, and skill. I need their example to imitate,  their counsel when I am stuck or confused, their teaching of the wisdom they have gained from experience, their coaching to fine tune the skills I need in order to succeed, their encouragement when I am discouraged, their admonition when I am unmotivated and lazy, their correction and scolding when I mess up, and their fervent prayers for God’s power, guidance, and protection.” A key part of this humility is recognizing and admitting that the more people I have helping me the faster I can grow. The number of people helping me is the direct result of my seeking and asking. The act of seeking and asking for help is where the rubber meets the road in the character trait of humility. The act of asking others for help is both the method of becoming more humble and the obvious act of being humble. It is embarrassing for me to remember and think of all the times I mucked through a project because I was to proud to ask for counsel or help. “I could figure it out myself”, “I could do it myself”.  Once while Patty and I were on a 100 mile canoe trip in a wilderness area in British Colombia on our one year anniversary of being married, we got caught in a huge rain storm. The result was everything got very wet including our matches. I tried and tried to get a fire going, but I just couldn’t get those wet matches to light,and when I finally got one to go the wood was so wet it refused to catch on fire. There was another camp about 100 yards through the woods. We could hear them talking and enjoying themselves because they had a big, warm fire. Patty suggested that I walk over to their camp and ask for some matches and dry wood, but I refused because I could do it without help. I probably didn’t impress my new wife that night as we slept in wet sleeping bags freezing to death because I refused to ask for help. I wonder quite often how much further ahead I would be in life had I learned more and grew faster because I asked for help way more often.

1 thought on “Humility

  1. B

    No kidding.
    Eating a piece of the “humble pie” or the entire pie really will payoff in the end.
    I start every day with the fork ready to dig in.
    -Humble servant Hansen



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