Why It’s Impossible to Attain Humility

It Fizzles Off When You Think You’ve Reached It

Illustration by www.zaidkdahhaj.medium.com

Humility requires a realistic view of one’s own strengths and shortcomings in order to debunk the idea of your self-importance self-image. Your self-delusion denies the truth of natural imperfection in nature and humans. It breeds our tendency to over-compensate in order to meet our own unrealistic and unfulfillable standard of perfection, defined as being better than others. It imprisons us in a self-imposed cage of entitlement filled with self-absorption and self-obsession ruled by egotism to suck us into the dregs of life with the force of gravity.

One can choose to convert to realism anytime. It’s a way of looking at the world. It means every circumstance, every individual is different, and we need to engage that difference in any responsive action. Our eyes should be on the larger real world, not on yourself or your ego. Humility is a worldview.

The constant need for admiration, manifested as excessive vanity, showmanship, and pride, is often mistaken for confidence, excellence, and superiority, preventing the needed efforts to better oneself instead of comparing to become better than others.

This lack of self-awareness often entails an exaggerated sense of one’s own abilities and achievements addicted to a continuous diet of attention, praise, and affirmation. One becomes hypersensitive to criticism or perceived slights and insults, and instead often counters these with exaggerated claims to expertise and exceptional capabilities, as opposed to humility’s modesty and self-effacement. The self-assured hubris of pride and arrogance is a mental disorder that can only be cured by the voluntary reconnection to the actual reality through healthy human relationships.

Humility demands authenticity. Your thoughts and behaviors of the ego must withstand scrutiny. Your ego tells you that you are the best. Yet, deep inside, we knew that we did not accomplish whatever our achievements all on your own. Humility tempers the zero-sum effect which drives the “win-at-all-cost” goal of living life. Humility builds confidence in the authentic self as you realise that your status, wealth, medals, awards, physical beauty, and titles do not define you.

The ego tells us that everything is about you; it crushes everyone who stands in your way of credit attribution, awards, and accolades. Humility is all about giving credit appropriately as it is due, whether to others or yourself. The fear of losing the benefits of personal credit can be unbearable for many, and they strengthen their walls of self-delusion to preserve a fake and superficial façade of artificial authenticity.

The key is to shrink your ego to re-fit your limited self. Ego inflates your self-confidence to produce arrogance and elitism. Humility shrinks your ego into its natural pinhead size but expands your consciousness and mindset into a much larger universe in the cosmos of abundance empowered by our connectivity with each other, nature, and the environment.

Humility is not for the weak. The mental shift and transformative expansion of our consciousness and mindset embolden power, capacity, and creativity to provide balance in our mental well-being to expel the self-defeating self-delusion-for-self-preservation way of life. It does not prevent different thoughts, innovative ideas, and the courage to act on our convictions. But humility will be ended by robust individualism and narcissism.

Humility does not mean being diffident, insecure, indecisive, meek, or passive, or putting yourself down repeatedly.

The path of humility leads to the understanding of why you are here in the first place and, at a deeper level, the meaning of life. It makes conscious our unconscious spiritual connection to the creative force and energy out there to realise that external things do not make or define us. There is no need to boast or brag, or constantly say that you are not good enough.

Humility was never even my personal goal. The passion to achieve was ingrained from birth — to become the best of the best. However, I never did become the best of the best. Nevertheless, I think I became pretty good at what I do. And I continue to believe that I can do what I do better than anyone else. It is a comfortable thought feeding the delusion of being self-sufficient and adequate.

I sense there is something lacking deep inside; a kind of lingering feeling of wanting to become more and better so as to compensate for whatever seemed missing inside. This fear generates irrational and erratic toxic comparison when triggered by the success or praise of others, or when being overtaken in the race for first place or being rejected for desired titles and positions. The resulting selfishness, competition and crushing of opponents in order to win molded me into someone intensely unlovable and unworthy of friendship and admiration.

A lifetime of service and achievements, however, did not qualify me for the simple demands of humility. Each time I think that I might have finally attained humility, it fizzles out, bursts, and disappears. And I would have to re-start all over, though not quite from the beginning, to relearn the art of living in peace, gratitude, love, joy, and, yes, humility.

Whatever I thought I have accomplished, done or given or touched lives paled in importance upon the realisation of my own un-importance in the universal scheme of things. Others too have achieved much, suffered immeasurably deeper, disappointed multiple times, fallen numerous times, been hurt profoundly, been in challenging physical health and so much more.

Humility is the common portal through which our human conditions are able to come together to share and begin to heal. Everyone can always listen and learn from each other’s wisdom and insights for better living.

The frequent failures to attain humility helps me to discover the open secret in the never-ending pursuit of humility. The journey to humility is not a journey. Never have been. It is a mindset. It is the acceptance of imperfection which makes the self-imposed competitive race and relentless comparison with others to “become the best of the best” so frustrating, so futile and so hopeless even when on a winning streak.

At the end of failed humility, I found my tiny blue dot in the entire connected universe or multiverse to arrive at that final destination of humility — the beginning of the beginning of ‘nothingness’. It is the original freedom from limitations in the material world. It is the beginning point of life. Humility resonates with the renewable and sustaining vibrations and energies of singularity, oneness, infinity, eternity and the never-ending continuing cycles and flow of cosmic energies.

Humility is the mental process that unlocks the enormity of human potential to make the possible life more bearable, safer, friendlier, and fuller of love. Humility has no “arrival” gate.

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Dr Michael Heng

Dr Michael Heng

Explorer, Discoverer, Helper, Enabler and Humanitarian through writing, ventures and enterprise. ILLUMINATION Editor and Writer.

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