There is one trait that makes a man stand out from the pack. Some would have you believe it is confidence that lures people in. Others give credit to charm or charisma. A sense of humor is even thought to be the skeleton key that warms everyone. While these attributes are enduring and desired, the one trait that will draw men and women in alike is honest humility.
Being naturally humble is almost an oxymoron. This is one of the most difficult barriers to break from our natural wiring. The early congratulatory nature that many of us grow up in creates an appetite for praise and attention. Wanting the spotlight for positive actions is deep seeded in all of us. This is why when you witness someone who has genuine humility, an unassuming spirit of compassion for others, you cannot help but be drawn to their inviting nature.
Modern masculinity is often associated with strength and force. It’s now interwoven between being powerful, assertive, wealthy, and influential. Masculinity has also been associated with dominance over weaker individuals. This mentality and practice is escalated by reinforced stereotypes in politics, sports, entertainment, as well as religion. The fact that we are born with selfish, consuming natures, mixed in with today’s bombardment of expected gender characteristics, has created the perfect microcosm of behavior in the modern man.
Being humble requires you to go against every inclination you encounter. The misplaced pride you have swelling inside must be subdued. The bitterness of not receiving what you feel you deserve must be quelled. You must figuratively and literally move from the front of the line to the back of the line. When you feel as though you’re not receiving the attention you so desperately crave or believe deserve, a humbled heart will remain content. We are programmed to consume and collect. This intrinsic philosophy is comfortable and natural. The fact that this consuming nature comes so naturally is what makes humility so impressive to observe.
Emphasis is so often placed on outward showing of success. The rooms in your house, the make and model of your car, the emblems on your clothes, or the zeros attached to your bank account. While these attributes do not define someone, they do have the capability of guiding them into a deeply rooted sense of pride. To remain humble even through the bevy of accumulation is beyond difficult, though not impossible.
Counter to popular belief, humility isn’t immediately self-rewarding. You don’t reap instantaneous, outward benefits while remaining humble. The race to the top of the mountain creates treacherous, unforgiving attitudes. Our culture has adopted the unbalanced belief that favors the strong. While there is a flawed misconception between humility and weakness, it is possible for someone to be in a position of power, yet still remain supremely humble. To exhibit humility, even in the throes of power and established roles of authority, identify a truly composed person.
The root of this practice is found in its honesty. This personal decision of humility does not have shadows, staying in the light constantly, visible both day and night. Truly exceptional people remain constant in their outlook, beliefs, and stance that life isn’t about their needs. The light switch cannot dim or brighten depending on mood or situation. This is why we want to be in their company, as we search for that beacon of consistency in our world of uncertainty. We seek out humble individuals in order to learn what brings them such peace and serenity.
The decision to deemphasize your needs, your wants, and your personal brand is one of the most difficult conscious decisions you’ll ever make. While going against every fiber of your gut feeling, you will be deciding that the life you live is bigger than yourself. Although the initial feeling may resemble a herd of cattle trampling over you, your eyes will become open to the injustices and depravity consuming the culture in which we live. The sensitivity that accompanies a humbled heart is the ultimate sign of acceptance. When people see your open heart, when they feel the warmth that radiates from your character, when they hear something that sounds so unfamiliar to their ears, these are the traits that will draw people close. Not a single attribute will separate you from the masses quicker than genuine humility.