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It’s not often we’re advocates of Kendrick Lamar’s lyrics, but it appears he really was onto something with the whole ‘be humble’ thing. In an age where popularity is measured by Instagram followers and Facebook likes, it might seem counterproductive to act with humility.
But, science says there are some seriously significant health benefits to being humble.
Being humble has had a bad rap over the last century, with the dictionary defining it as “the quality of having a modest or low view of one's importance.”
However, Macquarie University professor, John Dickson explored the origins of the word in his book Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership and better explains it as “the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself.”
Humility is about having the strength to put the greater good above your own personal ambitions or as Rick Warren once put it, “Humility isn’t about thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
Humility is the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself
The benefits of being humble stretch further than just a few ‘warm-fuzzies’. Here are a few perks of humility that have some scientific backing.
Research published in the Administrative Science Quarterly found that managers who displayed traits of humility were better at their job. The findings showed that “humble CEOs connect to top and middle managers through collective perceptions of empowerment at both levels.”
Published in the Self and Identity journal, research looked at the relationships of college students and found that those students who displayed the humility trait had more ability to form relationships with strong social bonds.
If you’re humble, you’re more likely to offer your help – whether it’s time or money – than those who aren’t. Published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, a study found that people who reported higher measures of humility were more likely to help someone in need when presented. That’s a whole lot of good karma coming your way.
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