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  • Attribute of Success-5: Teachability & Humility

    • May 1, 2018
    • Posted By : admin
    • Comments Off on Attribute of Success-5: Teachability & Humility

    An old English proverb says – Listen to advice and accepts instructions, and in the end you will be wise.

    The weakest part of each person is where he or she thinks himself or herself the wisest. In the words of great basketball coach John Wooden. “It is what we learn after we think we know it all that really counts.” Those who are teachable and continually seek to improve and grow rarely contract the disease of pride.

    Great American leader, inventor, writer Benjamin Franklin taught – “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

    Education and transportation are tolls that get us to our destination. We need transportation as long as we live, so do we need education. As modes of transportation has evolved and changed over the years, so have the tools for education. The Internet is the facilitator for transport of knowledge. The moment you think you know a lot about a particular subject or topic, just google the topic, subject or term and you will find millions of pages of information on the subject.

    A teachable person would always be ready to learn new things, would not be obstinate but correct or modify his opinion if he is presented with convincing fact or knowledge.

    Being teachable is more of an attitude; a teachable person would not carry the baggage of absurd pride, a teachable person will always be willing to learn even from people younger to him, a teachable person would be a team player, a teachable person would always be ready to go back to his books and most teachable persons would have a habit of reading books. An average CEO reads about 4-5 books a month, i.e. 48-60 books a year. Are you busier than a CEO? No you can’t be, you are very bad time manager, But if you can’t read even 1 book per month, it means you have not yet set your priorities right.

    In the words of Joseph Addison, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body: as by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated; by the other, virtue is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed” Famous writer and motivational speaker Burke Hedges tells – “When we read inspired, thought to provoke books, we grow richer in all phases of our lives. In short, reading has the power to transform us from what we are right now to what we could be in the future.”

    Block out time each day to read, positive, inspiring books. You can set a target of reading for 15 minutes daily or reading 10 pages daily of a book of your choice.

    Humility is the byproduct of being teachable. A person who is humble is teachable. A humble person is genuinely interested in what others have to say. They know they do not have all the answers and continually seek to learn from the insights and experiences of others. Blain Lee the author of “The Power Principle” talking about humble people says “they (humble) approach others with open minds and are willing to be taught”

    A humble person would be quick to acknowledge the contribution of others, if complimented on something that he has achieved; he will always attribute his success to his team, or persons who helped him in the process. The humble acknowledge the work, help and support of others and give thanks to them and God.

    The weakest part of each person is where he or she thinks himself or herself the wisest. In the words of great basketball coach John Wooden. “It is what we learn after we think we know it all that really counts.” Those who are teachable and continually seek to improve and grow rarely contract the disease of pride.

    In the last scene of American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood movie Sully (2016), in which Tom Hanks who played captain Sullenberger, who successfully landed his plane with 155 passengers on the river Hudson, after a bird hit destroyed both the engines of the plane on January, 15, 2009. The captain was facing an enquiry commission and the enquiry officer said after all the evidence and hearing of witnesses finished –

    I’d like to add something on a personal note:

    I can say with absolute confidence that,

    after speaking with the rest of the flight crew…

    with bird experts, aviation engineers,

    after running through every scenario…

    after interviewing each player,

    There is still an X in this result..

    and it’s you, Captain Sullenberger,

    remove you from the equation and the math…

    just fails.


    To which Captain Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) responds –


    I disagree.

    It wasn’t just me, it was all of us.

    It was Jeff and Donna and Sheila and Doreen and…

    all the passengers, or, rescue workers…

    and Air Traffic Control,

    Floatable Crew and Scuba Cops.

    We all did it!

    We survived!


    This was the response of a captain who did something so extraordinary that it was never done before him, or so far till date. His X-factor was his teachable attitude, which helped him observe and absorb information from everyone and upgrade his knowledge and skill to such a remarkable level.

    The humble realize that life is not a competition. The humble are cooperative and always seek to lift others. They celebrate the success of others. Humble people consider themselves smart, beautiful, intelligent and have a very positive and strong self-image, but they will not think themselves smarter, prettier, more intelligent than others.

    For the humble their worth and respect comes from within, their positive self-image and self-reliance is their source of worth and respect. The humble seek the bounties of life they enjoy without a thought of what others think or say about it.

    The humble are driven by a mission to help others. Their success in life is a byproduct of their mission to help others.

    A humble person would not show off his money and riches, he will use it to help and support others to the best of his ability, and a humble person with knowledge would not be haughty and look down upon people but would become humbler.

    विद्या ददाति विनयं विनयाद्याति पात्रताम् ।

    पात्रत्वाद्धनमाप्नोति धनाद्धर्मं ततः सुखम् ॥

    With Great Knowledge comes Total Surrender and surrender

    With Total Surrender, you become Worthy.

    When you are Worthy, you are given the Greatest Wealth

    That Wealth is Bliss.