Can we be as Humble as Mother Theresa’s List Suggests?

4621075758_6c21beb236_zMother Theresa gave her sisters a list on how to be more humble, here is the list of 15 suggestions, I will attempt to explain them in a little more detail.

1. Speak as little as possible about yourself. 

We have heard that we should be interested as opposed to trying to be interesting. Listening accounts for eighty percent (80%) of our success, and our listening is even more effective when we listen to understand, rather than listening just to see when we can get a moment to speak.

2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others. 

Mind your own business, see where you can make a difference in the lives of others if you have an inclination to interfere. Remember never participate in the lives of others unless you are doing so with love. Even when you are trying to do something with good intention, make sure you are not forcing your idea onto that person – that is not love.

3. Avoid curiosity. 

Don’t gossip and never lend your ears out to others; perhaps you may need to reconsider how many times you watch or listen to the news. If it’s not good news, it’s probably not good for you.

4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others. 

You may have the best intentions, you may have the best advice, you may even have the exact solution that is going to alleviate a lot of pain in the lives of others. But don’t interfere, support if you can, but never interfere.

5. Accept small irritations with good humour. 

Keep your smile, keep calm and play nicely. Your ability to accept, remain calm and be nice will often defuse the situation quicker than any words can.

6. Do not dwell on the faults of others. 

When you judge others you are actually judging yourself. Often we notice the faults in others and we are irritated, because we know that authentically we have the same faults as we are judging in them.

7. Accept censures even if unmerited. 

People will generally try to force their opinions on you. Remember you don’t need to arrive at every argument you are invited to. Simply excuse yourself and go about your business as if nothing ever happened.

8. Give in to the will of others. 

Now this list seems to be getting a little tougher than expected, and the emotional intelligence test has really started. Yes, give up your need to be right, remember you cannot be realistically tested for emotional intelligence, because if you were tested and you think you passed emotional intelligence – you have not given up your need to be right.

9. Accept insults and injuries. 

Understand that hurt people hurt people. There is always someone hurting more than you are, but as Mother Theresa says, we should love them anyway.

10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded. 

As people our biggest need is to be recognised, but you will not always be recognised. When you accept this fact of life, it will enable you to make a difference in the lives of the people you recognise. Remember by recognising others, you will more than likely surprise them, and you will often change their lives for the better.

11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone. 

People will try to push your buttons. Often it will be those closest to you that will try to upset you the most, but when you expect it, you can choose to love them anyway. We always need to love people regardless of what they have done or tried to do to us.

12. Do not seek to be admired and loved. 

As we have discussed, the greatest need people have is to be recognised but we must never expect it, or ask for recognition. When we recognise and love others we may be recognised and loved, but it is important to know that you will seldom be recognised and loved by those you have recognised and loved. Often it will be from others who are less needy than the people who needed your recognition and love.

13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity. 

You don’t have to be right and you don’t need to defend yourself when others have opinions of you. It’s not what people say about you that matters, what really matters is how you respond to what others say about you. Never give them the pleasure of proving them right about what they have said about you. Remain quiet and they can only wonder about the person you are.

14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right. 

Give up your need to be right, no matter what the circumstance. Allow the other person to have their opinion and be right. Making them wrong will only make an enemy of the other person. Be the bigger person and allow others to be right. When you allow them to be right they will start to question themselves as to whether they were actually right. When you try to make them wrong , they will only continue to defend the belief that they are right. Remember that belief is not always truth, but people will fight for what they believe in even if it is not the truth. Save yourself much strife and heartache by simply allowing them to be right.

15. Choose always the more difficult task.

There are practical tasks and emotional challenges. When it comes to practical things always do what you perceive to be the most difficult first, this will free you from the burden of worrying about the difficult thing that needs to be done. In an emotional sense, giving up your need to be right is often an extremely difficult task; by now you will realise that it is simply the best thing to do.

When in doubt, choose to be kind, that is how you will show love for those around you.

May your days be filled with love and kindness.

Photo credit: B.S. Wise / Foter / CC BY

About RichSimmondsZA

Retired but still Disruptive
This entry was posted in LEADERSHIP and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Can we be as Humble as Mother Theresa’s List Suggests?

  1. YEVL says:

    Reblogged this on YEVL Pty Ltd and commented:
    Thank you @RichSimmondsZA – real motivational and inspiring advice.


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