Being humble is important. Understatement.
And difficult. Another understatement.
In fact, it's hard as hell. Not an understatement.
Here are some lessons that I have personally been learning in my time working overseas. Each one of these may sound cliché, but they all come from a very real place for me. If they hit you too, awesome. If not, feel free to move on.
Sometimes you have to accept not being right - even if you think you are.
Sometimes you have to admit others are right - even if it means admitting you're wrong.
Sometimes you have to give up control - even if you think you should have it.
Sometimes you have to submit to the leadership of others - even if you don't like their vision.
Sometimes you have to shut your mouth and open your ears.
Sometimes you have to fess up and take responsibility for the stupid things you said.
Sometimes you have to pry open your hands and just let go of your expectations.
Sometimes you need to willfully choose to have no expectations at all.
Sometimes you have to see that you're not as important as you think you are.
Sometimes you have to let yourself see that you're more valuable than you think you are.
Sometimes you have to be aggressively grateful - even when you don't feel grateful at all.
Sometimes you have to look for daily moments of wonder - about others, not yourself.
Sometimes you have to suck it up and choose the job nobody wants.
Sometimes you have to suck it up and choose to be present to the kid nobody wants.
Sometimes you have to stop thinking in terms of yourself
and stop saying "sometimes you have to"
But sometimes you just have to fake it 'til you make it.
The only way to cultivate humility is by making small, deliberate, conscious choices to suppress your pride.
But we cannot remain simply draped in humility like a garment covering our ugly, naked pride underneath. Eventually, humility must burn within us like a slow, smoldering fire, thawing the permafrost that is our false self.
And that's hard as hell.