Humility, an important skill

I have this problem.

The problem of humility.

Recently, it came to my attention that it is hard to remain humble, to choose the right words to say to not appear arrogant, rude, or full of yourself. It is hard to bring yourself down to a level that will be deemed respectful.

I guess it is particularly hard for me because I feed off of this energy of self-confidence, competition and putting myself on a high horse. This could actually be a defence mechanism that I’ve erected from the experiences I had in the past. To remain stoic, emotionally unmoved by the words of others.

But as I grow older, I’m conscious of this ‘defence mechanism’ and now I realised that it could be more of a bane than a boon.

Thus, it has come to my attention to fixing this problem, to rewire my brain to be humble and master the art of humility.

And it will always be a work in progress.

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A painful lesson for myself: humility

I started this blog because I treasure memories and I wanted to record them down for my future self to read.

But for that to work effectively, I have to be 100% open and truthful too.

So, let me be just that.

There’s a lesson that I believe has been one of the hardest for me to digest and practice, which is the lesson of humility.

Death and prayer bring humility to the soul of a person. However, I have yet to truly grasp the essence of being humble. To know how to be humble is one thing but to truly practise the art of humility is another.

It is even more so when the urge to get recognition, validation from others will continue poking at you like an annoying little brother. I guess, it just shows how deep I have dived into this world of gratification and a habit I’m trying hard to break.

I guess it all started when I begin to realise that having people associating you with your work is a confidence booster. It truly is. But, slowly and surely, it will become something that consumes you as your work is now more focused on capturing the attention of others instead of honest and sincere work.

Once you get that validation ball rolling, your humility will slowly disappear. And that is something that I truly fear.

In National Service, I was always taught and told to be humble, to respect others and bring yourself low. This lesson was especially important for officers like me. In retrospect, however, I guess it was a lesson that I did not embody and I truly regretted that. Maybe my life in NS would have been vastly different otherwise.

In Islam too, we were taught be humble, to bring ourselves down to the level of others, to speak kindly and on the same frequency as the person we’re talking to.

There are still so much more that I can learn to embody the art of humility. A lesson that I’m painstakingly trying to master.

I guess, it all takes time. All I have to do is persevere on.

I will also try to be sincere in my craft. To put aside the thought of validation and do it sincerely, for the sake of my future self.

Again, I’m in that mood.

I’m in one of those moods again.

The mood where I’m feeling half hopeless and half exhausted with life.

I don’t know why though but from time to time I would enter such moods and it will completely ruin my day.

I feel very unmotivated and just mentally exhausted. So, when I went to the gym just now, I didn’t do anything productive and everything felt really heavy.

However, it is also in these moods that I would reflect on life and look at how far (or not) I’ve come.

Reflecting back to the past few days, I felt that I haven’t been practising much humility. I felt that I was too obnoxious or too egoistical. Maybe people don’t notice it but I honestly felt like I was. I felt like I was showing off too much and complimenting myself and putting down others. Honestly, I feel bad now.

I’m trying so hard to be humble, to bring myself to a lower level but sometimes, I just feel expressive and I need to put myself out there.

I still have to work on this humility thing.

May Allah help me in my efforts.