Saturday, August 11, 2012

True Humility

I think I wrote this in June 2012, while I was training in Korea before the Olympics. Context is actually quite significant with regards to content... for example, if you had a depressed phase and everything you write is a little ominous, it doesn't mean you feel the same way ALL THE TIME. What is written here doesn't apply all the time, but rather in a state of frustration. The words are meant to get you out of a darker place. It's tough if you only look at the absolutes, because people start at different scales, but if you track relative changes, then there is always hope...

There is no correct way, just ways that are more effective than others. Maybe your way can be very effective, maybe it can even be the most effective at the moment, but nothing is ever set for eternity and a new technique may emerge, thus rendering your methods still effective, but not the most effective anymore.

Now what happens when you see others struggling with their own methods? Maybe they don't know any better; maybe they are stubborn; maybe they just don't understand it the way you do? Teaching others is always a gamble, because you need to invest your time and resources. Before helping others, you must personally decide if it is worth your time and effort to help them. Why teach if your advice will fall on deaf ears? If they don't want your help, then there isn't much you can do. Even if they NEED your help, it will not be effective if they don't want to make the change. People can change, but a major condition is that they have to WANT to make the change. If they do not want to change, then they will remain the same.

Perhaps you have something you are particularly good at. You have a very good sense of it and you can find success more often that others. Maybe others try to pursue your talent as well, but they are fumbling, having much more difficulty than you do. You may try to guide them along and help them get to at least where you are at, but it seemingly is more of a stressor, as there are others who may not wish to learn. Isn't this a form of disrespect? Sure they may have high standards, but who are they to disregard your point of view in a subject that you are knowledgeable about? It's different if you didn't have such an ability in your particular talent, but because you do, it feels awkward. You can see their errors and you can understand why things may go wrong for them because you understand the game much better. Though it may only be your perspective, it should still be a valid one.

If this continues, it's really easy to disregard others, especially those who are obviously inferior. You put your selflessness on the line by trying to help them out, but they shut you down, blinded by their own quest for glory... they truly want that autonomy to do it themselves. Over time, contempt grows, where you become agitated when they can't succeed at the small things; they never do as well as they want to and you know exactly why. But since they don't want to listen, they must think they're better than you. Otherwise, they are simply faking it. They claim they want to be good at it, but their actions speak differently. They're distracted and they have no passion for the process. They only value the odd experiences and getting the label. In other words, they only value getting named to the team, getting those benefits, but there is little pursuit in the ultimate mastery of your craft.

There is so much frustration in the end. It keeps being bottle up and harnessed, with the odd fits of rage now and then to release some of that pent up anger. To make things worse, people you rant to tell you to have patience. Have patience for others who aren't as good as you. Respect other people for trying, respect those who are less fortunate. But... but but but but but, there are so many 'but's that it is driving you crazy. 'But they don't respect me', 'but they don't listen to me', 'but they don't even care, they just enjoy whatever limelight they get'... and the truth is, it's very true. Some people have a lower level of contentment; they just enjoy the moment and live day to day. Some even live for a big moment and live their life around that one moment. And there are some, maybe similar to you, that strive for achievement. Not so much for money or fame, but a personal level of success. Personal achievement, let's say. It's a hunger that needs to be fed and it is very irritable when you have to deal with other people who don't understand, or don't want to understand. However, maybe that's just the way it is...

And that is the way it is, because it is more or less an ultimate form of humility. Being thankful for your God-given abilities that you may have personally worked so hard for, but at least you did the right things most of the time. You have had your ups and downs as well, so that respect for the inferior people or people who don't care, is more or less humility. To be truly humble for your abilities is tough, but it can be done... only if you want to. In the long run, progress is hindered if people aren't working to their full efficiency. To treat people the way they deserved to be treated usually doesn't end well because a lot of people deserve nothing at all. I'm not saying that you need to be a doormat, not even close, but to understand that you always have the control over the situation. Maybe the outcome might not be the way you envisioned it, but if you can make the best out of that one particular moment, your odds are definitely highest if you are willing to work it out. You need to make the change, be a leader in a way, of your own emotions and decisions. Take the high road all the time that leads to the greatest route for success. Even though it may feel good to destroy someone, it will not be good if it hinders progress. However, if they are directly your competition, there is no need to hold back, but don't go overboard as well. There is no need to demoralize your opponents, because the best way is to show them your undying confidence that you are the better one in that situation. With persistence, they will break before you and they already know it.

Some last words to finish up... be yourself and focus on the best course of action to progress to your desired outcome. Though you may not win all the time, you will still come out on top of your demons. Be humble, because you can't know for sure if your methods are the most effective at that given time. Adapt to your situation and succeed... because that's what the true masters of your particular talents do.

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