Let Your Work Speak, Not Your Highlights
It's a common theme of youth basketball to see highlight reels of young athletes - showing off their latest nasty move or promoting their game. The power of media to share what's going on is amazing, when used in the right way.
All I had to type in on Youtube was "9 year old phenom basketball" and comes up 100 videos of the next superstar 9 year olds. There's no such thing as a superstar 9 year old, they are 9.
However - to see a team game filled up with individual videos of scoring, dribble moves, and the occasional assist. It fulfils the main challenge of instagram and social media, comparison. Stop comparing your full game, to somebody else's highlight reel.
You didn't see the 6 times the kid got beat off the dribble, or loose ball they didn't dive for on social media. You only saw the good stuff - that's not how life works.
Impressing people is truly different from being impressive.
What is Modern Humility?
To hear stories of NBA players checking their phones at half time to take a look at the box score or Twitter, you really wonder what is modern humility?
It's definitely not posting every time you're getting a work out in, or re-sharing your own highlight story unless for a real purpose. It's definitely not a trainer or coach carrying on about the grind of the work that a player puts in, or promoting them like they're an agent.
Let your damn work speak.
John D Rockefeller, who became the richest American businessman in history started a nightly conversation with himself as a young man. "Because you got a start, you think you are quite a merchant; look out or you will lose your head - go steady."
You know a workman by the chips they leave. To judge your progress properly, just take a look at the floor.
The Greatest Examples
I love this video. Curry letting his work speak before anybody knew him. Swishing 5 free throws in a row before leaving the gym. Not for Instagram, not for the guy next to him - but for his own personal measure of success.
To be humble is to understand you can improve, you are a student. Popovich coached Duncan, a multiple time all star and champion. He was held accountable.
Tom Brady was called out by Belichick in film sessions, the same as every body else. He has not arrived. Brady stayed in the same hotels as the rest of the team, even though he could probably buy the place or stay in a penthouse by himself.
The further up you go, the more you may need to be deliberate about staying humble.
New Zealand All Black's, sweeping the sheds. They are not too big on their high horse to clean up after themselves, they understand how we you do anything is how you do everything. In fact they take the most pride in it.
Luka Doncic just came out and said "I don't really care about MVP.. what's important is the championship." If you're in it just for you, it's hard to get the best result for we. Incredible example by a young man.
In Mother Teresa’s The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living, she recommends we try and follow these steps toward humility.
To speak as little as possible of one's self.
To mind one's own business.
Not to want to manage other people's affairs.
To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.
To pass over the mistakes of others.
To accept insults and injuries.
To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.
To be kind and gentle even under provocation.
Never to stand on one's dignity.
To choose always the hardest.
You Cannot Give What You Do not Have
It's a temptation for everybody, for images and talk to replace action.
Instead of pretending that we are living some great story, we must remain focused on the execution- and on executing with excellence.” - Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
When you are driven by likes, status, money you will never be full. The more somebody is loud and certain of themselves, the more concerned we should be.
The more we honour our own work, by setting the example - that's how we prize modern humility. What about your low lights? That's what it's all about - navigating through the fog and shit of life.
Not pretending it doesn't exist. But confronting what we are truly afraid of - that's the real highlights.
How do you deliberately cultivate humility in your own life?