Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Simplicity transforms ordinary persons into exceptional beings

humility and simplicity

We have big dreams and ambitious projects, but that does not mean we can not embrace simplicity. But in a world where the value of people seem to depend from what they have, rather than what they are, where we often care more about appearances than to essence, it is easy to fall into the trap of pride, vanity and presumption.

However, there is no better adorn for our soul than humility. In fact, simplicity is the language of the heart, is a form of direct expression which does not need artifices and allows to connect to the others from our essence, making us 100% authentic.

The risks behind pride and arrogance

Once a frog wondered how it could get away from the cold winter. Some geese suggested it could emigrate with them, but the problem was that the frog could not fly.

- Let me work on it - said the frog -. I have an extraordinary brain.

Later asked two geese to help her pick up a cane, each would have grabbed one end. The frog thought to grab the rod with her mouth.

When winter was coming, the geese and the frog began their journey. But they had not yet flown long when they found themselves flying over a small town where people went out to see the unusual show.

Someone asked: “Who is it that had such a brilliant idea?”

The frog felt so proud that exclaimed:

- It’s me!

At the precise moment when opened its mouth fell away from the cane and hit the ground.

Like the frog in the history, pride can lead us to make bad decisions, without thinking of the consequences. In fact, pride convinces us to be right while the others are always wrong. It leads us to believe that only our ideas are logical and rational, so that we do not accept new ways of seeing things and finish blocked.

Pride and arrogance mean that we lock ourselves in what we have learned becoming our jailers. This is confirmed by a study conducted at Cornell University. These psychologists presented to 100 volunteers a list of technical terms and found that those who were believed to be experts, not only weren’t able to recognize the fictitious terms that researchers had invented to confuse them, but even claimed to know all about it. On the contrary, those who adopted a more humble attitude and don’t claimed to be experts showed skepticism about these terms and recognize not to know them.

This study shows that sometimes our ego blinds and prevents us to seize growth opportunities and to learn something new. It proves that if we don’t raise our eyes we’ll continue to believe we have reached the highest level.

7 benefits of humility and simplicity that will transform us into better people

1. They allow us to have a greater mental flexibility.
If we adopt a humble attitude we will become eternal apprentices. This means that we will always be willing to listen to new ideas and change ours. In this way we will be able to grow, because we won’t be tied to our ideas or ways of doing things, but we will be open to change. Indeed, to the extent that we cultivate modesty, it also makes it easier to learn from mistakes and understand that these are necessary to grow and evolve.

2. They free us emotionally. Pretending to know everything can be exhausting. So embracing humility and simplicity is often liberating. When we recognize our mistakes and limitations we are not showing our weakness but rather the opposite, we show self-confidence, that we know ourself well and we are not afraid to recognize when we have failed or that we need help. Humility rises, pride reduces.

3. They help us appreciate the little details. Pride always wants more, it’s never satisfied. On the contrary, humility is content and find happiness in what it has. Simplicity allows us to focus on small details and discover its beauty, allows us to feel grateful for those things that adorn our lives and that we were not considering properly because we took them for granted. So embracing humility allows us to be happy here and now, helps us to feel grateful and satisfied with what we are and achieved.

4. They allow us to connect from our essence. Simplicity also means getting rid of the social masks that we normally use in interpersonal relationships. The magic is that when we get rid of the need to impress the others, we show ourselves for what we are, and this allows us to establish a deeper emotional connection with people around us. In this way, we are able to develop relationships more authentic, strong and lasting.

5. They let us find serenity. It is curious but, to the extent that we become humble, the need to discuss, impose our views or to be right abandons us. When we do not need that our ego prevails, we open ourselves to other points of view and find the serenity even when the beliefs and opinions of the others are opposite to ours. This new approach in interpersonal relationships will make us find a great serenity.

6. They help us to be more empathetic. Only when we let go pride and arrogance, when we stop to feed our ego, we are able to give up our point of view and put ourselves in others' shoes. Therefore, the path towards simplicity also helps us to be more understanding and empathetic. This means that we can understand a person, share his concerns and feelings, even if we do not agree with his way of thinking.

7. They make our life easier. When we finally realize that “having less means being richer” our world suddenly becomes a lot easier. We realize that many of the things we thought we need, are not really necessary to be happy. Then we can focus on what really matters, redirecting our efforts towards those things that make us happy and fill us, those things that really give meaning to our lives, rather than remove it.

Always remember the words of the Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato: “To be humble is needed greatness”.

Atir, S. et. Al. (2015) When Knowledge Knows No Bounds Self-Perceived Expertise Predicts Claims of Impossible Knowledge. Psychological Science; 26(8): 1295-1303.


Keep feeding your neurons

Simplicity transforms ordinary persons into exceptional beings
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books


Psychology as you never heard about...

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