Humility Action Plan

One of the most important discussions in this chapter is practicing self-forgetfulness. Many cultures place a high value on achievement, appearance, and a strong self. In such a culture, it is important to cultivate humility.

Create an action plan. This action plan must detail how you can use the 12 factors in the book to become more humble in your life.

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Admit Bias

This one is big for me. I have a terrible bias towards myself. Bias is a very difficult matter to unearth or bring into the light. It is hidden from our consciousness, I think, unless we are willing to drag it into the light. It is important to also admit that we cannot do anything alone. Whatever we might think, there is no way that we could accomplish anything without others; not a job promotion, not financial success, and certainly not marital success. 

Seek Accurate Feedback

I think that it is important to receive accurate feedback from spouses, family, and friends. A good habit to adopt might be to sit down every once in a while and find out how someone is doing and how they think we are doing. That way feedback comes on a regular basis.

Learn to Laugh at Ourselves

Sometimes I really catch myself thinking that the world is revolving around me. That everyone is just watching my every step and waiting to catch me messing up somewhere. In that state of mind, it is hard to laugh when I mess up. I just need to stop taking everything I do so seriously so that I can learn to laugh at myself when I mess up.

Learn From Other Cultures

I like the suggestion that we seek self-improvement rather than self-enhancement. We should improve ourselves but not in a way that over-inflates our ego.

Cultivate the Other Strengths

I think that gratitude is particularly central in the search for humility. Just the simple act of saying thank you can unknowingly change our perspective on a given situation. I should learn to thank those around me and above me more for the things they do for me.

Assume a Cosmic Perspective

By keeping a cosmic perspective I can remember that there are goals and priorities that supersede my own. For instance, I could work on environmental matters in my neighborhood and by doing so humble myself.

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Experience Awe

 I probably need to start reading again because the books that I read always gave me a sense of awe; whether that is of God or the universe or the human mind.

Focus Beyond Self

It is important, in life, to be devoted to something beyond ourselves. My religion is very important to me. I should learn to center more of my life on it rather than myself.

Promote Secure Attachment

I do need to learn to take negative feedback better. I must keep in mind that what someone is saying is not always personal.

Model Humility

In my life, I have found that by modeling behavior I can enhance that behavior in my life. For instance, when I am showing my children how to brush their teeth I pay attention to the way that I brush my teeth better. Likewise, I need to model secure attachments in order for my children to develop secure attachments.

Demonstrate Balance

The act of humility is not self-debasement. I can still be a strong person and be humble. In fact, one of my strengths probably needs to be humility.


Bolt, M. (2004). Pursuing human strengths: A positive psychology guide. New York, NY: Worth.


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