I get embarrassed at the gym.
“Keep your back straight, shoulders back, chest out. Come on Steven, chest out and keep that pelvis down!”
Most people listen to music at the gym, this is my soundtrack.
I’m doing an exercise that is hard for me. I’m using both arms only lifting five pounds and my friend is standing behind me giving me a little help.
It gets worse when two people that want to use the same machine come over, wait, and watch.
I wonder if they thought it was funny.
The gym, for me, is a lesson in humility. It’s one way of learning a skill, or better yet, a universal truth.
Humility is the greatest asset you can obtain.
It is an impenetrable armour that allows you to come out of any failure or shortcoming unscathed and ready to go for round two.
It will earn you the respect of your bosses and peers alike.
It will keep you open minded and allow you to receive insight from everyone around you.
Using humility to persevere.
If you have an ego and think you are the best at everything, it only makes sense that you will be disappointed when you can’t live up to that expectation.
If you are humble you can take everything for what it is, and not what you expect it to be. You can fail and be okay with it because there is no disillusion.
When you skip that feeling of disappointment you can go right back to improving yourself without missing a beat or beating yourself up.
Using humility to earn respect.
“There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.”
– Henri Frederic Amiel
No one will like you if you put yourself on a pedestal. True respect comes from treating people as equals, or humbling yourself before others.
To earn someone’s respect, you must respect them first. To respect someone you must view them as an equal. To view them as an equal you must have humility in yourself.
It’s like social math. This is the equation.
Using humility to learn.
If you think you are smarter than the people around you, you will never ask them questions. You will never learn what they could offer to you.
If you are humble, people will want to share their knowledge with you.
Even if someone talks to you for an hour and you only get one useful tidbit from it, just one sentence, it could change your life.
Think of how many people you talk to on a daily basis but never bother to really listen to, or engage with. These are situations where you could be learning.
Working out has forced me to learn humility.
People hate criticism. People hate feeling like they are failing, I’ve learned that you have to keep going until you fail, or you’ll never know how far you could have gone.
And the only way to be okay with failing is to set aside your ego and accept things as they are. Maybe you aren’t the best or the strongest. Maybe I had trouble with that workout and maybe those two guys thought it was funny.
I don’t care because I am not pretending to be anything more than what I am. I will project humility with each step of my life, and with that, no one can bring me down.
I’m already as down to earth as I can get, looking up at the sky.