How to Embrace Humility in a Culture of Pride

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It was a big night for a Midwestern DJ whose name is lost in the years since. Known around town as the morning radio host’s sidekick, he pursued his true passion, stand-up comedy, at clubs in the bigger cities nearby. And he was good, funny enough to get a shot at opening for David Spade at the peak of his career!

Working promotions at the radio station gave him plenty of experience in dealing with celebrities, respecting their space, being mindful of their time. But this was different from the start, laying his own talents out in front of someone he held in high esteem. He was beyond nervous, bordering on calling in sick.

So it really surprised him when, arriving at the casino, he found Spade waiting for him! The then-star of “Just Shoot Me!” and “Joe Dirt” said he was so excited to finally meet the DJ, that he’d watched his routines on the internet and couldn’t wait to share the stage with him. Unlike many of Spade’s peers in the business, and contrary to the characters he often brought to the screen, this wasn’t all about him. Word of his humility, spread far and wide by the DJ, made many fans for life.

Was he weak? Insecure? Delusional? None of the above! In the way true humility propels you on your journey to an OolaLife, David Spade displayed the quiet confidence, the balanced sense of self, that opened him to fully embrace a comrade in comedy. Imagine all he might have missed if his ego blocked these touchstones with reality.

More importantly, what are you missing in a pursuit that, frankly, appears to be all about you? Oola’s focus on examining your seven key areas of life – fitness, finance, family, field, faith, friends, and fun – and setting OolaGoals that will bring balance to your life can lead to some swagger as we celebrate success. But there’s much to learn from our failures as well, and you’re bound to learn the value of humility one way or another, by practicing it from the start or while picking yourself up from the inevitable fall.

Here’s how to put it to work for you:

• Begin by helping yourself become the best version of you possible. Does this surprise you? It’s like the flight attendants who remind you to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others; you’re not of much help if you don’t have your own act together. Only then will you find the quiet confidence that allows you to deflect the spotlight, trading excusing, explaining, and posturing for collaborating, connection, creating, and moving forward.

• Act without expecting praise; connect yourself to a larger cause with an open heart. Listen more than you speak and accept responsibility when things go wrong. It’s amazing to see what you can accomplish when you leave pride at the door. By making yourself small, by embracing humility, you can create something much bigger.

• Surround yourself with like-minded people you trust. They’ll keep you grounded and watch your back when others try to sling their failures your way. Help them keep it real as well.

• Lift someone up today, and expect nothing in return. Putting others’ needs first builds the road to a better world, and when we come together as a community, everyone shines! So, step forth and always remember…

Be grateful, have faith, and go get your OolaLife!

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