March 19, 2012

The Power of Humility

“It is in the practice of humility that we seek out the support and guidance of those that can truly help us.”

Though I am a very socially outgoing and engaging person, I value my private and alone time.  When it comes to certain activities, like working out, riding my bike, and even in travel, I really value the solitude of my personal, private, quiet space.  Having been a serious competitive swimmer in high school and college, my competitive training always involved hours of laps in the pool — alone.

The advantage of this alone time is that I learned to rely on my ability to push myself to be successful. The downside of this lesson is that I came to believe that it was up to me to discover solutions to the challenges I faced in life.  At an early age, even before swimming, the safest place for me in the face of adversity was to call upon my internal resources to survive and figure it out.

My ego became the foundation upon which I survived everything and through which I accomplished what I did.  I came to believe that my ego enabled me to be strong, successful, and focused in the face of every conflict.  And, I learned to trust the power of my will and ego over everything and every one.

What I did not realize is that my ego, while protecting me, was also preventing me from accessing the very resources I needed to not only survive; but, to be successful in my adversity or conflict.

You never need to be alone.  In fact, your are never alone.  The belief or notion that you are solely responsible for dealing with pain, conflict, and adversity is incredibly misplaced.   There are people who come into your life for the sole reason to be a resource to you in your time of trouble. And, there are people who exist in your life, who have been brought into your life, to inspire you to greater levels of success and accomplishment.  Unfortunately, we often erect these incredibly high safety walls through our ego that give us a false sense of protection while preventing us from accessing what we need most.

Humility is that moment of authentic reality that we cannot do this alone.

Humility allows us to be honest with ourselves and others that while we believe in our ability to manage our chaos, we need the guidance, support, and inspiration of our trusted resources to work through it.

Humility is where we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and let people into our inner circle with openness and trust.  For, it is in this authentic, honest, and receptive place where we find the reinforcements that will guide us through our personal challenges.

Your ego is designed to protect you.  Remember it also can be a deceptive fortress that also prevents valued and trusted resources from assisting you.  I love training alone.  I love the solitude of my own thoughts, ideas, and meditations.  I love pushing myself to limits I never believed were physically or personally possible.  However, I discovered that in my most difficult and trying times, the best outcomes were realized when I finally admitted that I didn’t have the ability or the strength to go it alone.  When I finally made that discovery, the power and influence of those around me took off and I found an entirely new and empowered level of accomplishment and peace.

You can go it alone.  You can convince yourself that it is hard to know who to trust.  You can burn yourself out carrying the load alone.  Or, you can openly and freely admit that you cannot go any further without help.  When you do that with authentic honesty and trust, the world opens up to you.  The people in your life are there for a reason — ask for help and trust their commitment to you.

Humility and Authenticity
About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.