WHAT IS HUMILITY AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT 

Humility – the quality of being humble.

Humble – having or showing a modest or low estimate of ones own importance.

Back in 2005 I was a little, know it all, arrogant, obnoxious 8th grader (as most of us are at 14 years old) and I played on the boys volleyball team. It was my first year playing and I picked up the sport pretty quickly. After about a few weeks of practice, prior to the season starting I was awarded one of the most important positions on the court, libero. Libero is one of the most important positions on the court for a few reasons but I don’t know much about volleyball and that’s not what this blog is about so that’s neither here no there, what was important was my first lesson on humbleness. After our last practice before our home opener our coach, Mr. Sparks asked us what is the best trait to have as a teammate. A few of us shouted out some pretty decent answers for 7th grade jocks, and I only say jocks because most of us played other sports like baseball and basketball. After a few short moments Mr Sparks saved us the agony of guessing because the answer he was looking for was not going to be said by any of us. He said the most important quality in a teammate is being humble.

Now at the time I didn’t really understand what being humble meant and as an 8th grader with very little life experiences and understanding of admirable character traits my instinct was that being humble meant you didn’t have any confidence. Being humble is not having low confidence – being humble is understanding there is more for you to learn and more in the future for you to be proud of, two great qualities to have in a teammate. 

Now how does this relate to life?

To be a good teammate in life you have to understand you have a lot more to learn and you must strive to accomplish something else to be proud of, something better. One of my favorite quotes ever is “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Read that again and think about it… “you don’t know what you don’t know.”  This has made a profound impact on my life in many ways, for example I didn’t know that I’d gain so much value from mediation and I didn’t even know that I didn’t know that. If I knew that meditation would bring value to my life but still didn’t do it then I’d just be making a poor choice but at-least I’d have a choice to make! Not knowing something could potentially bring value to your life is only possible if you know that there’s something that you don’t know. Even if it hit you like a brick in the face you would still realize that there was something that you did not know. So why not just start by knowing that you don’t know what you don’t know, ya know? I was just 25 before I knew the power of compounding interest in a retirement account and I didn’t even know that compounding interest existed! How did I not know that? You’re telling me you can get interest on your interest!? The power of not knowing what you don’t know is the foundation for growth and the essence of humility. When you understand that you don’t know what you don’t know you become more curious about what you also don’t know! As I’m sitting here writing this I’m salivating at the fact that there is something out there that I don’t know that could benefit my life! What is it? Someone show me! There is something to learn from everyone and everything you just have to know that there is something to know.

As a Certified Nutritionist and someone who reads a lot about diet, food, and the body I know a little bit about what foods are healthy and what foods are not healthy. I have a decent grasp on macronutrients and average knowledge on micronutrients. I can hold a basic conversation about genes, proteins, and cells toxins, and bacteria. If I had to guess I’d say I know more about diet and food than the “average American” (which is not something to be proud of) but, I do not know everything – actually I know nothing. I know nothing about food and I know nothing about diet. The only thing I do know is that I don’t know what I don’t know. Knowing that I don’t know what I don’t know allows me to seek more knowledge and gain more wisdom. But, if I lived my life thinking because I am a Certified Nutritionist that I know everything about food then I wouldn’t be able to gain more knowledge and my skill set would plateau – I wouldn’t be able to become the best version of myself and I would be doing myself and my clients a disservice.

“DO NOT BE THE PERSON THAT DOESN’T EVEN KNOW THAT THEY DONT KNOW WHAT THEY DONT KNOW!!” 

In life it’s important to ask yourself questions like the ones below in order for you to grow and become a better person:

  • Tell me how I am wrong? Show me where I am wrong…
  • How can I be looking at this the wrong way?
  • What don’t I know about this subject?
  • Who knows more than me about this and why do they know more?
  • What can I be better at?
  • How am I not doing this as efficiently as possible?
  • In what ways can I grow and how?

So when was the last time you said the word humble? When was the last time you used the word humility? Humility is something that most of us overlook and have surprisingly low awareness of. When you have humility you can look at someone else’s point of view. When you have humility you give yourself room to grow. Grow, grow , grow your boat gently down the stream! 

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