Humility Shapes Happiness

I have a friend who is terrible with money and when I say terrible, I mean that they think massive amounts of commercial debt are no big deal. They are constantly waiting for their big break, but it never seems to happen for them. What consistently has been happening to them, for years, is getting and staying in deeper and deeper levels of debt. 

We met for a meal awhile ago and they finally divulged all of their issues to me. I listened and tried to share no judgement on their situation. They were stressed, as they should be, but I asked them what little step could they do that day to help ease the anxiety and stress of their fiscal situation. They told me that they were going to go home and tell their partner the truth. They were going to go home and air out all of their secrets, hope for the best and see what happens. I told them that, that was the best solution I could see for them as well and wished them so much luck on getting out of their financial deficit. 

I use to be terribly harsh with myself, in terms of acknowledging my mental health. I did not believe in mental health and believed that I should be resilient enough to simply deal with whatever life threw at me. I was able to live like that, somewhat, for well over a decade, but then it eventually caught up with me. I had to force myself to make my mental health a priority, each and every single (damn) day. I no longer think that self-care, taking time off, saying ‘no,’ or having boundaries are silly little things, but rather vital components of a successful person. 

It took me a long time to get to that point in my life and the journey was not always pretty, but it got me, eventually, to a much better place. I am very grateful for my journey because I realized so much about life and how we need to stop competing with ourselves, others and irrelevant societally constructed goals in search of external affirmations. I finally, piece-by-piece, realized that if I am not happy with myself, nothing external will fix the internal issue.  

These two stories are the good ones. They are the stories where the protagonist figured out that they had a problem, needed help, sought out said help and managed to start the difficult, trying journey out of their rut. 

Having the humility to admit that you are not able to handle everything on your own is the catalyst to consistent happiness in life. 

Having the humility to say that the way you have been living your life is not good, is even damaging and being brave enough to try something new is for the courageous. 

Having the humility to say, ‘I messed up and I am going to try and do better,’ is the most amazing gift you can give someone else. It is the most significant thing you can do because you are promising a changed behaviour and not simply lip service that you messed up, with no intentions of self-improvement.

I think that a lot of people see humility as a sign of weakness. Many people would much rather go deeper in debt than tell a loved one, ‘I cannot afford it,’ which makes me oh so sad. 

I think that a lot of people see humility as a sign of sadness. Many people do not want to admit that what others are expecting of them is too much for them to handle, so rather than having clear boundaries, they keep on saying ‘yes’ to things they do not want. 

I think that a lot of people see humility as a sign of loneliness. Many people would much rather pretend that everything is great all of the time, rather than admitting that things are not going well and they are in fact, sad or even depressed because that makes life too real. 

When you are willing to be humble you are living a life you are comfortable with, financially, emotionally and physically. You are living in a manner that works best for you and your current situation. 

It can suck when you cannot afford the extra fee guacamole at lunch, be the social butterfly your friends love and adore or feel like the best version of yourself each and every day, but every day has its greatness. 

If we stop spending so much time pretending everything is okay and rather learn to live within the boundaries of what is okay for us today, daily happiness no longer is some faraway concept, but something which is tangible and attainable each and every day.