H is for Humility: When the student is ready….

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Here is the thing about ego, you stop asking questions or seeking assistance because you tell yourself you know.

You actually believe people should come to you for help or advice. As a result you don’t seek mentorship, you don’t ask questions, you don’t register for any course.

You don’t seek feedback, so that you can improve.

Pride dulls your hunger.

In order to subdue pride and ego, we must adopt the attitude of being a student.

When you learn from someone, you swallow your pride and place yourself in a position where you acknowledge that someone knows more than you.

The power of being a student is not just that it is an extended period of instruction, it also place the ego in someone else’s hands.

By being a student, you acknowledge that you are not better than the “master” you apprentice under.

You defer to them, you absorb and learn from them.

We don’t like thinking that someone is better than us, or that we have a lot left to learn. We always want to be done, to have arrived, to be at the top.

The thing is that false ideas about yourself destroy you.

To tame ego, we must consider adopting the attitude of being a student. Always stay a student.

That’s what martial arts are about, and you have to use that humility as a tool.

You put yourself beneath someone you trust.

This begins by accepting that others know more than you and that you can benefit from their knowledge, and then seeking them out and knocking down the illusions you have about yourself.

The act of being an eternal student keeps men and women humble.

Humility constantly reminds us that we don’t know enough and that we must continue to learn.

Ego blocks us from improving by telling us that we don’t need to learn more.

Then we wonder why we don’t get the results we want, why others are better and why their success is more lasting.

When we allow ego to lead us, we stop our progress in life.

Ego tells us that we shouldn’t submit ourselves to anyone, and in the process we lose the opportunity to learn from others.

We don’t read books, we don’t attend conferences, we don’t seek a mentor, we don’t register for a courses [even free ones], we don’t volunteer, we don’t job-shadow,  because our ego tells us we don’t need those things. We are smart, we don’t need those things.

We must be on guard against this wild self-confidence and self-obsession.

The first product of self-knowledge is humility.

Now I understand better the old Buddha proverb that says,

“When the student is ready…. the teacher appears.”

When we are ready to make positive changes in our lives, when we are ready to humble ourselves and learn from others, we attract whatever we need to help us.

PS: I have seen students with ego, the mere fact that you are a student doesn’t mean you are without ego. You want to see ego? Check out final year MBA students from a “prestigious” institution. Such people use their education to reinforce their ego, to demonstrate how smart they are compared to others. When they get their Phds, everyone must know and call them with the appropriate designations because “they worked hard for it” as they say.

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