The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: FuckRx on July 13, 2014, 03:56:27 PM

Title: how do you stay humble?
Post by: FuckRx on July 13, 2014, 03:56:27 PM

I'm curious what you guys/gals do to stay humble. I'm sure some are always humble, so what makes you guys humble? I'm sure I can make a ton of excuses why I'm not humble at times but it's a trend that I've noticed and now with getting closer to my financial goals I noticed my humility dwindling a little more.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: boy_bye on July 13, 2014, 04:05:17 PM
I compare myself to the millions of people in the world who are more badass than me. I contemplate the amazing luxury of my life compared to my ancestors, and I analyze what I've done with that privilege.

Compared to the some people I may be doing some things right. But compared to the most badass people in the world -- and compared to what I feel is my own capacity -- I have a lot further I could go.

That's one of the reasons I love this site, in fact. There are so many people here who have got it dialed in to an astounding degree and I like looking up to them and trying to learn from their accomplishments. This community is awesome for that.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: stevesteve on July 13, 2014, 04:14:27 PM
I'm not sure what reasons I have to be proud.  Plenty of people spend plenty less than me so I can't be proud of being frugal.  Plenty of people make more than me so I can't be proud of my income.  Plenty of people have more wealth than me so I can't be too proud of that either.  Plenty of people have worked a lot harder than I have so I can't be proud of my work ethic.  Finally, there are still plenty of people whose wealth and values align as well or better than mine so I can't say I'm more content than everyone.

So, I don't think I'm too proud.  I will still be blunt with people I know who complain about their situations.  When you are middle class then the answer simply is to make more or spend less.  Even with that and my FI goals, I realize I could be FI right now if I reduced my wants.  As long as you're okay with where those line up then you're doing it right.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: bacdef on July 13, 2014, 04:15:30 PM
I heard a Detachment Sergeant (mid/low level manager) once say the following to his subordinates, in complete seriousness:

"We are better then everyone else because we are so humble."

I keep this in mind, and remember that whenever I feel as though I am exercising humility, I am likely doing the opposite.

I've found perspective helps quite a bit. When my overactive ego starts to kick in after I've accomplished something, I quickly remind myself that there are plenty of people that have done the same thing I just did, only much better. I try to find examples of this, learn from them, and internalize that I always have much further to go.

And of course, I always remember that I am so much better then others because I am so humble ;)
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: former player on July 13, 2014, 04:22:51 PM
1.  I try to keep my mouth shut so that mostly people don't realise that I'm not humble.

2.  If asked directly, I say "yes, I've been very lucky".
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Thegoblinchief on July 13, 2014, 04:46:25 PM
My expensive failed doctorate showed me I'm not THAT smart. I think the gulf in intelligence between 99.9 and 99 is bigger than 99 to, say, 50.

The last couple years have really showed me where my strengths and weaknesses are. Awareness of this isn't necessarily humble, but it's an analogue to be sure.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: tanhanivar on July 13, 2014, 08:02:17 PM
*Knowing* how to do things from scratch makes me feel very superior. Actually trying to *do* things from scratch keeps me humble :)
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: zolotiyeruki on July 13, 2014, 08:15:48 PM
*Knowing* how to do things from scratch makes me feel very superior. Actually trying to *do* things from scratch keeps me humble :)
Ooh, I like this.  Just like how I knew *how* to replace the transmission output shaft on my car the other day, but couldn't actually manage to dislodge the shaft from the transmission...
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: caseyzee on July 13, 2014, 08:22:37 PM
Ooh. I got a little chuckle out of this one.  I wake up every day amazed, surprised, and happy to be where I am.  Every day!  This afternoon, I went for a walk in the creek with my little girls and we all agreed - life is good.  Sure, I've worked hard, made some good decisions. But I've also screwed up more than a few times.  I guess that keeps me humble.  Knowing that I am one lucky individual helps too.

That said, I think its totally ok to be proud of what you've accomplished.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: TrMama on July 14, 2014, 11:54:06 AM
Have children. Being a parent is a constant exercise in humility. Parenting a child effectively is like looking in a mirror that only shows your flaws. That mirror then goes out into the world and shows other people your flaws too. It's impossible to think too highly of yourself when this becomes your daily reality.

If the above doesn't make sense, think of it this way. Children do as their parents do. If you have some bad habit, negative trait, swear too much, think too highly of yourself, etc. your child is likely to do those things too. That child then goes to school, his friend's house, the grocery store and displays these not-so-fabulous qualities to his teachers, people in your social circle and the general public. If you didn't see the negative trait in yourself, it becomes glaringly obvious to you (and everyone else) the moment it's displayed by your own personal mini-me.

Of course they do great things too. When that happens, you should be proud.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on July 14, 2014, 01:15:42 PM
I heard a Detachment Sergeant (mid/low level manager) once say the following to his subordinates, in complete seriousness:

"We are better then everyone else because we are so humble."

I keep this in mind, and remember that whenever I feel as though I am exercising humility, I am likely doing the opposite.....

This is perfect, thanks bacdef. Very creative username as well-I'm guessing abcdef was taken? Welcome to the forum.

I just do something difficult. Example: I play golf. I don't play much, but it's one of the few things I'm really passionate about. It is the single most humbling thing I can think of. It can really make you realize how bad you can be at something.

Are you afraid of heights? Go out on a the roof of a tall building.
Afraid of enclosed spaces? Ride an elevator.
Afraid of public speaking? Toastmasters, business networking, public speaking classes.

Challenge yourself and you will not only hopefully pickup a new skill, but you will realize how much others have mastered it.

Lastly, I'm humbled every day on this forum by the immense collective knowledge here. I've always considered myself a smart person, but I struggle to understand the complexities discussed here regularly.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: msilenus on July 14, 2014, 01:23:52 PM
Fuck humble.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: CarDude on July 14, 2014, 01:32:35 PM
It's a good idea to remember that all the people you look down on (the general you, not you in particular) are no less immortal than you are. In the end, whether you're Bill Gates or a beggar in Bangladesh, your net worth is zero once you're dead. And no matter how many houses you pay off, you're really still just renting in the grand scheme of things, as you can't take any of them to the grave. Reflecting on your mortality is a great way to stay humble and a great reminder to be kind while you can.

Oh, and any one of us could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and even if we don't die, no amount of money can fix a myriad of health conditions caused by a simple traffic collision. Every day we make it through life without dying or getting into a serious accident is a very blessed day, as there are thousands of people around the country on all ends of the financial independence spectrum who are struck down in their primes due to no fault of their own. Regardless of how much some on this forum think their success is due to hard work, I'm a firm believer that luck makes the lion's share of the difference.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: JCfire on July 14, 2014, 01:48:58 PM
*Knowing* how to do things from scratch makes me feel very superior. Actually trying to *do* things from scratch keeps me humble :)

"In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice.  In practice, there is."
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: T-Rex on July 14, 2014, 01:53:38 PM
A few things. Seeing peers fail, and meeting people that are extremely bright and highly accomplished in some way I am not (such as renowned doctors, etc.) Remember there's always someone way cooler than you, and someone that did the nearly same thing as you that got totally screwed over.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: minkcar on July 14, 2014, 02:17:55 PM
How do I stay humble? Primarily genetics. A little bit of mild mental health disorder can go a long way towards remembering that I'm not perfect or even always okay.  My particular issues make me susceptible to feeling guilt, so embracing that a bit can help with humility.
Other than that, I focus on how impotent everyone is without circumstances. Would I be so smart/successful without the education and training I had? Or the economic good fortune I had? Yes, I made some great choices, and earned some of my success, but I had tons of opportunity I didn't create or deserve. I also make a lot of pretty dumb choices.  Remembering that helps me with humility. 
Full disclaimer, though, I'm probably still not very good at it.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: arebelspy on August 11, 2014, 10:48:56 AM
I'm only currently learning how to be humble.  How to stay humble will be a whole other bridge eventually I hope to get to cross some day.  :)
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: frugalnacho on August 11, 2014, 10:55:46 AM
I am the most humble one here.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Ynari on August 11, 2014, 11:02:06 AM
I've always been this fabulous.  *hairflip*  Nah, I read a lot of books as a kid, and supposedly that creates empathy...

But really, I have a few experiences that I try to keep in the forefront of my mind.  A key financial one is as follows.

In high school, my favorite teacher gave us all two envelopes.  One had $$ in it ($1-$20), one had a piece of paper.  We had to give one back at the end of class.  He would never know who did what.  We could ask him 3 questions.

I asked him 2 good questions - I don't remember exactly, but they're irrelevant now.  The third question I asked was "Whose money is this?"  He said it was his.  I stammered...  that's not exactly what I meant, but he'd answered my question, so I went back in and decided to keep the money, thinking at the very least that if *I* had the money, I could choose what purpose it was for (I thought I would donate it, or something like that.  I think I just got $1 and kept it.)

The next day, he told us that he got $X back and that would buy *such and such* charitable cause.  There was a list of what the money would buy if certain amounts were returned.  If all the money had gone back, it would have bought a prostethic limb for a veteran. 

I should have asked "What's the purpose of this money if it is returned?"  That day, I learned that not only does money have greater buying power when compiled, but that I'm not always the best judge of purpose.  Just because something is under my control doesn't mean it's best.  Cooperation, trust, and full understanding can go a long way to creating good things.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: swick on August 11, 2014, 11:50:08 AM
I've always been this fabulous.  *hairflip*  Nah, I read a lot of books as a kid, and supposedly that creates empathy...

But really, I have a few experiences that I try to keep in the forefront of my mind.  A key financial one is as follows.

In high school, my favorite teacher gave us all two envelopes.  One had $$ in it ($1-$20), one had a piece of paper.  We had to give one back at the end of class.  He would never know who did what.  We could ask him 3 questions.

I asked him 2 good questions - I don't remember exactly, but they're irrelevant now.  The third question I asked was "Whose money is this?"  He said it was his.  I stammered...  that's not exactly what I meant, but he'd answered my question, so I went back in and decided to keep the money, thinking at the very least that if *I* had the money, I could choose what purpose it was for (I thought I would donate it, or something like that.  I think I just got $1 and kept it.)

The next day, he told us that he got $X back and that would buy *such and such* charitable cause.  There was a list of what the money would buy if certain amounts were returned.  If all the money had gone back, it would have bought a prostethic limb for a veteran. 

I should have asked "What's the purpose of this money if it is returned?"  That day, I learned that not only does money have greater buying power when compiled, but that I'm not always the best judge of purpose.  Just because something is under my control doesn't mean it's best.  Cooperation, trust, and full understanding can go a long way to creating good things.

This is the most thought provoking post I have read in a while, thanks for sharing :)
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: shotgunwilly on August 11, 2014, 12:18:40 PM
I am the most humble one here.

I like telling people this. Almost no one catches on.... :/
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 11, 2014, 12:26:04 PM
Fuck being humble.  I'm frigging awesome, and not enough people seem to know this.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: blackomen on August 11, 2014, 12:58:27 PM
I'm probably the most mustachain person in my circle of friends but here (at least among the regulars), I don't think I'm even in the top 50%.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Gone Fishing on August 11, 2014, 01:34:15 PM
Humble

1.having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance.
2.of low social, administrative, or political rank.

Most non-humble folks care a lot about what others think.  I don't care what others think.  Does that make me humble?

I do know that blabbing about how much you make or have saved makes people jealous, upset, envious, and possibly more likely to sue or try to swindle you.  So I keep my mouth shut for the most part.

We live in a very mixed income area, there are always plenty of poor folk around to remind you what it could be like. 
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Mrs. Frugalwoods on August 11, 2014, 01:36:57 PM
I do dumb stuff all the time, which brings me back to earth pretty quickly :)

Recent example: nearly broke our washing machine 'cause I was being a cheap-butt & doing fewer loads of laundry. I overloaded it with too many towels and sheets and it started banging around ominously. Fortunately, we're OK. But it was touch and go.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Beric01 on August 11, 2014, 01:38:41 PM
I am the most humble one here.

...Except for me.

Seriously though, I have a real problem with this. Inside I'm ripping myself apart (the nagging voices of success (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/21/embracing-the-nagging-voice-of-success/) must be especially strong for this one), but on the outside, it feels pretty good when everyone is telling me I'm "so wise for my age". I'm 24 and saved more than most 34-year-olds? I just don't need the trappings of luxury? Sure is hard to stay humble.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Shor on August 11, 2014, 01:52:01 PM
I look up at the starry night sky and realize just how tiny I am.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: tanhanivar on August 11, 2014, 04:38:10 PM
I also try and remember C. S. Lewis' take on humility, that it is "not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less".

It can be easy - at least in the early days! - to concentrate on my own needs/savings/goals to the exclusion of others. On the other hand, MMM frees up a lot of resources *to* help others. So I'm still learning my way through this.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: KMMK on August 11, 2014, 04:41:01 PM
I'll admit - I'm not that humble. So I'm curious; how do you think humility makes your lives better and why is it important to you?
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: garth on August 11, 2014, 04:41:38 PM
Humble? I think you have the wrong address. This is the forum for passive-aggressive self-important geniuses, thank you very much.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Beric01 on August 11, 2014, 05:01:01 PM
Humble? I think you have the wrong address. This is the forum for passive-aggressive self-important geniuses, thank you very much.

Remember, an extremely high percentage of this forum is INTJ (myself included).
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Janie on August 11, 2014, 05:32:51 PM
Immodest words admit no defense
For want of modesty is want of sense
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Daisy on August 11, 2014, 09:21:27 PM
Realizing how blessed I am being born in the USA and my particular family and the values they passed on and having access to a wealth of opportunities. Any successes I have are built on the backs of my ancestors that went through a hell of a lot more work and uncertainty than I will (hopefully) ever face in my life.

My parents came to this country in their early 30s with a zero balance in their bank accounts and had to start all over and raise four children. They were still able to retire at a normal age and not have any financial worries.

My neighbor recently told me of her immigrant story. She also had to leave her country in her mid 30s and came to the US with zero money and left all of her belongings behind. She and her husband had owned a small store in the old country. She moved here with two small children and they all had to learn a new language. She was still able to pull it together, move to the northeast, worked in factories, eventually opened up an ethnic grocery store, and still saved enough to retire in her mid 60s with a paid off house a few blocks from the beach. She is such a positive person and really has inspired me in many ways.

If they can do it, we all can do it. Any of my worries are tiny little specks compared to the odds they faced. My own successes pale in comparison to theirs.

Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Bateaux on August 12, 2014, 12:31:28 AM
I'm much more humble today than my pre Mustacian days.  My first humbling moment was in 2008 when I found out my 14 year old son had Leukemia.   Through the enormously combined effort of many he was saved.  Every person who ever donated a dime to cancer research helped save him.  Every smart researcher and doctor who spent their life dedicated to helping find a cure saved him.  He is 21 today.  I'm forever humbled.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Bateaux on August 12, 2014, 12:49:04 AM
My second humbling moment came in 2012.  After working for a Fortune 500 company for 20 years and having a traditional pension that I thought was gurranteed it was taken away.  Overnight the financial planning I'd used for 2 decades was wiped away legally.  Luckily I have always been paranoid and didn't trust anyone else with my future.   I've maxed the 401k and Roth IRA all along.  Many at the company did not, since the company had always provided a pension to its retirees.  When you expect 50k or more gurranteed for life it's hard to save.  Having it taken when you are 2/3 of the way is a game changing humbling experience.   Many of them will have to work 40 or more years vs the 30 they had planned.   Unless they adopt frugal ways and save their way out of the mess.  I'm now quitting 5 years before my formally required 55th birthday.  There is nothing to stay for once I FIRE.   Many can't dream of leaving till 62 or even older when SS can be drawn.  The hazardous chemicals we work with will likely kill many of them before they ever have the chance to retire.  Sad and very humbling.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: mostlyeels on August 12, 2014, 04:43:36 AM
Definitely when I started reading MMM and learning, I thought I had it all figured out, and was smarter than other people around me -- then life brings you down to size :)

My parents came to this country in their early 30s with a zero balance in their bank accounts and had to start all over and raise four children. They were still able to retire at a normal age and not have any financial worries.

So much this.  I've known about my mum and dad's tough circumstances for most of my life.  But it's only now, with some life experience under my belt, that I can really listen to them and put myself in their shoes, and really feel how difficult it was for them.  Also, I've recently been on a trip and visited a few older relatives.  It's humbling, once I started thinking beyond the words they were saying and thinking about the experiences that brought them forth.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: sequoia on August 12, 2014, 07:30:46 AM
Got laid off from company that I had worked for 11 yrs. Took 2 yrs to find another permanent position while I took some low paying part time jobs to meet our needs.

 
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: arebelspy on August 12, 2014, 07:36:33 AM
I'll admit - I'm not that humble. So I'm curious; how do you think humility makes your lives better and why is it important to you?

Good question, and one I would have wondered myself until recently, so let me take the time to try to answer for those that don't understand the point of trying to be humble.

So here's why I switched recently from being okay with my arrogance to trying to be more humble.

I've been thinking a lot about how to live life, and what beliefs and mindsets make your life better.

And if you're comparing these two, arrogance vs. humility, there is very few circumstances that arrogance will help.

Maybe a job interview (though it could also hurt, and self confidence is really what you need, not the arrogance).

Other times?  It just alienates people.  It makes you less open to learning (because you don't want to admit you're wrong).  It doesn't improve your life at all.

Being more humble on the other hand, makes you more likable, makes you more likely to learn new things, and improve yourself overall.

I'm naturally arrogant, because I've always been a top performer at pretty much anything I've tried, ever (and often without trying).  But when I'm thinking about what mindsets and beliefs I want to hold to make my life better, being humble is one that I'm working on implementing.

A secondary reason is that reading Mindset, by Carol Dweck, also helped me become more humble, because a growth mindset necessitates humility, whereas a fixed mindset is more arrogant.  I'd rather have the growth mindset, so that leads me to trying more things, admitting I suck at some things, and trying to get better and learn.

Nothing "made" me humble (like some of the stories of people above), other than a logical choice to try to become more humble as a way to improve my life.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Oscar_C on August 12, 2014, 07:56:05 AM
it feels pretty good when everyone is telling me I'm "so wise for my age".

I don't like it when people tell me this. It makes me feel extremely awkward, and I don't know how to answer back.
I kinda wanna say it's common sense but I know it's not.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: dodojojo on August 12, 2014, 08:03:11 AM

that I've noticed and now with getting closer to my financial goals I noticed my humility dwindling a little more.

Why tie your financial status to your humility level in the first place?  I'd hope how I conduct myself and treat others has little to do with my bank account.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on August 12, 2014, 08:41:24 AM

that I've noticed and now with getting closer to my financial goals I noticed my humility dwindling a little more.

Why tie your financial status to your humility level in the first place?  I'd hope how I conduct myself and treat others has little to do with my bank account.

You shouldn't but I think I know what OP means. When you start getting your shit together your default reaction to others who are making poor decisions can easily become a superiority complex. "IKm doing it right, you're doing it wrong" kind of attitude. Or I'm winning.

It can be tough to keep in check sometimes.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: James on August 12, 2014, 08:54:18 AM
I don't like the idea of trying to be humble.  I think being very aware and open will produce the same result. So while I think appearing humble can be a good thing, I'm not sure trying to be humble is the right way to go about it.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: KMMK on August 12, 2014, 09:03:22 AM
I don't like the idea of trying to be humble.  I think being very aware and open will produce the same result. So while I think appearing humble can be a good thing, I'm not sure trying to be humble is the right way to go about it.

I don't really get it either. Humility is complicated. I think it's easier and more important to be grateful, kind, introspective, helpful, and authentic. Those characteristics are easier for me to understand and I believe trump my lack of humility. Not that I have anything against humble people - if it improves your life, great.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: arebelspy on August 12, 2014, 09:10:57 AM
I don't like the idea of trying to be humble.  I think being very aware and open will produce the same result. So while I think appearing humble can be a good thing, I'm not sure trying to be humble is the right way to go about it.

We may not have the same meaning of the word.  I don't think it's about "appearing" humble, but what I mean by what I wrote is:
- Recognition that there is a lot of stuff I don't know
- No need to make sure others know I'm right, even if I am

I think humility ties into both those things. I don't care about appearing humble, but more about having a mindset of growth and change and not coming across as a dick.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: dodojojo on August 12, 2014, 09:18:54 AM
[quote author=Cheddar Stacker

You shouldn't but I think I know what OP means. When you start getting your shit together your default reaction to others who are making poor decisions can easily become a superiority complex. "IKm doing it right, you're doing it wrong" kind of attitude. Or I'm winning.

It can be tough to keep in check sometimes.
[/quote]

I understand that.  I definitely make judgment calls--I think that's human nature.  But...along with that, I try to treat people as I would like to be treated.  I'm not always successful of course (there have been some shameful experiences from which I've learned).  I grew up dirt poor with a single mom of 2 kids who worked 60 plus hours for decades.  How can I lord it over others based on economic status or behavior?  I may violently (in theory) disagree with their choices but I'd hope to treat them as equals.  Whether billionaire or pauper, we're all going to be worm food at the end of it.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: socaso on August 12, 2014, 09:23:35 AM
I'll admit - I'm not that humble. So I'm curious; how do you think humility makes your lives better and why is it important to you?

Good question, and one I would have wondered myself until recently, so let me take the time to try to answer for those that don't understand the point of trying to be humble.

So here's why I switched recently from being okay with my arrogance to trying to be more humble.

I've been thinking a lot about how to live life, and what beliefs and mindsets make your life better.

And if you're comparing these two, arrogance vs. humility, there is very few circumstances that arrogance will help.

Maybe a job interview (though it could also hurt, and self confidence is really what you need, not the arrogance).

Other times?  It just alienates people.  It makes you less open to learning (because you don't want to admit you're wrong).  It doesn't improve your life at all.

Being more humble on the other hand, makes you more likable, makes you more likely to learn new things, and improve yourself overall.

I'm naturally arrogant, because I've always been a top performer at pretty much anything I've tried, ever (and often without trying).  But when I'm thinking about what mindsets and beliefs I want to hold to make my life better, being humble is one that I'm working on implementing.

A secondary reason is that reading Mindset, by Carol Dweck, also helped me become more humble, because a growth mindset necessitates humility, whereas a fixed mindset is more arrogant.  I'd rather have the growth mindset, so that leads me to trying more things, admitting I suck at some things, and trying to get better and learn.

Nothing "made" me humble (like some of the stories of people above), other than a logical choice to try to become more humble as a way to improve my life.
When I read this I thought of myself because I also have excelled at things I have tried my hand at but my reaction to that was different from yours. I usually assumed that because I was able to do a thing easily that it must not be very difficult and therefore it wasn't a big deal. I've had praise heaped on me when I did something quickly or easily and it usually made me very embarrassed and caused me to make some sarcastic remark about things I did wrong or could have done better. I really think this is chalked up to how men and women are socialized differently.

So given all that, I don't really have any problems with humility. I see mistakes I make every day and it keeps me from thinking too much of myself. Also if I wrong someone I try to apologize quickly and sincerely. This is something I have been working on for a few years and it's getting easier mainly because knowing that I will have to apologize if I am a jerk keeps me from doing the jerky thing in the first place.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Tyler on August 12, 2014, 09:29:23 AM
The exact day I reached a huge financial milestone, I finally received post-surgery test results that proved I did not have cancer.  That checked my ego quite nicely.

Life is a gift and we're all less in control than we might want to believe. 

Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: hybrid on August 12, 2014, 09:40:25 AM
Like another poster mentioned, I've raised kids. That will deliver more than a few body blows to an arrogant attitude. I also seem to have the ability to look down upon myself from 20,000 feet and see my place in the world. So where I can see I have made some good choices and in fact am significantly better than the general population at a whole range of tasks (and significantly worse at others), in the grand scheme of things that produces a great big "So what?"

I've done many things I can be pleasantly satisfied with, even proud of, like being a good husband (most of the time) for the better part of three decades. In the grand scheme of things however I am hardly special, and therefore I don't feel terribly arrogant as a result.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: DeepEllumStache on August 12, 2014, 10:24:52 AM
To work at staying humble, it helps me to recognize how amazing the people are around me and how to learn from them.  It also helps to occasionally surround myself with people who are better at the things I consider myself good at.   Even being in this forum helps me recognize that I still have a lot to learn about personal finance.  Despite being better than x percentage of Americans, I'm nowhere near the ninja status of a lot of people here.

Working on being humble also lets me appreciate what I have and motivate myself to become better.  I realize just how wonderful my life is without the new (insert random consumerist want here).  Appreciate being able to run but push myself to do better.  Appreciate my progress in my FI journey but learn about ways to improve my ability to move down that path.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: James on September 03, 2014, 09:01:18 AM
I don't like the idea of trying to be humble.  I think being very aware and open will produce the same result. So while I think appearing humble can be a good thing, I'm not sure trying to be humble is the right way to go about it.

We may not have the same meaning of the word.  I don't think it's about "appearing" humble, but what I mean by what I wrote is:
- Recognition that there is a lot of stuff I don't know
- No need to make sure others know I'm right, even if I am

I think humility ties into both those things. I don't care about appearing humble, but more about having a mindset of growth and change and not coming across as a dick.

We agree completely, it's just my background association of the words "humble" and "humility" that colors my perception of them. For me the words are tied too closely to appearance, so I don't like using them. But for others that's not the case.

I feel like I have so much to work on, I'm not going to add "humility" to the list. But then if I look at things I do want to work on, like being open to things I don't know, keeping my opinion to myself unless others are truly interested, and not being a dick like you elegantly stated, and they coincide with humility. So it's probably just semantics I engage in to avoid words that have specific conotations for me... :D

Good discussion
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: EricL on September 03, 2014, 09:23:57 AM
This teaching comes from Rabbi Simcha Bunem of Pershyscha. It was said of Reb Simcha Bunem that he carried two slips of paper, one in each pocket. On one he wrote: Bishvili nivra ha-olam—“for my sake the world was created.” On the other he wrote: V’anokhi afar v’efer”—“I am but dust and ashes.” He would take out each slip of paper as necessary, as a reminder to himself.

Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: TreeTired on September 03, 2014, 09:31:14 AM
I remain humble because I am secure in the firm belief that I am much better than everybody else -  smarter, wiser, more worldly, happier, better looking,  and perhaps not richer than a few but only because I want it that way.... and if I ever need a reality check, I just come here.   
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Public Hermit on September 03, 2014, 09:32:42 AM
I'm a natural-born introvert. I also know the consequences of not being humble as I observe my extroverted counterparts get themselves into deep shit by running their mouths all the time.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: DoubleDown on September 03, 2014, 09:57:58 AM
I'm only currently learning how to be humble.  How to stay humble will be a whole other bridge eventually I hope to get to cross some day.  :)

Holy crap, I just want to say thank you for correctly using "a whole other." This may be the first time I've observed someone who recognizes that "nuther" or "nother" is not a word.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: DoubleDown on September 03, 2014, 10:11:05 AM
I don't like the idea of trying to be humble.  I think being very aware and open will produce the same result. So while I think appearing humble can be a good thing, I'm not sure trying to be humble is the right way to go about it.

I see your point. But I assert that humility or "being humble" is closely tied to gratitude and recognition that there are much bigger things than us (like God in my worldview), and that what we have could be taken away in an instant, thereby humbling us without trying. Consciously making an effort to be humble is a way of showing gratitude and respect to a higher power, or for others if you prefer.

That's a different mindset (and result) from being aware and open (and those qualities have their own merits).
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Chranstronaut on September 03, 2014, 10:23:48 AM
I don't like the idea of trying to be humble.  I think being very aware and open will produce the same result. So while I think appearing humble can be a good thing, I'm not sure trying to be humble is the right way to go about it.

Reading this thread, I'm starting to believe that humble is a title we can only bestow upon others, but is not something we can call ourselves.  Being open, thoughtful, teachable, empathetic and introspective may be the paths to true humility.  But humility itself is earned by another person when we understand and look at their works as a whole from an outer perspective.  It's a virtue we see in others, but I'm not sure if we can see it in ourselves; we are too subjective in our own motivations and accomplishments.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: RetiredAt63 on September 03, 2014, 11:11:23 AM
Well, of course you are, you live in the Center of the Universe.

Fuck being humble.  I'm frigging awesome, and not enough people seem to know this.
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: domustachesgrowinhouston on September 03, 2014, 02:49:06 PM
I recall the saying, "There but for the grace of God go I".  I rely on that one when I'm being judgmental as well (so pretty much every day).

I was an EXTREME CONSUMER.  Through grace, I've learned errors in my ways and am now only a MASSIVE CONSUMER, on my way to MILDLY EXCESSIVE CONSUMER, and God-willing, one day I will be a MUSTACHIAN.

Compared to most of the people around me, it feels like I'm a financial genius (just yesterday I was admiring someone's new Range Rover, bought on credit for a mere $51,000, thanks to the $5,000 discount they got for Labor Day; and only a few thousand left on their existing car loan to boot).

I'm certain all of them are much better than me at other things and probably look at me going, "Why can't he just see what he's doing wrong?"
Title: Re: how do you stay humble?
Post by: Exflyboy on September 03, 2014, 02:54:25 PM
I'm the humblest guy I know!

Frank