Awe - A Path to Humility & Being Alive to the Present
Emperor Penguins

Awe - A Path to Humility & Being Alive to the Present

A short note to brighten your day (weekend?). I came across this astounding video and it moved me so much that I wanted to share it with you.

This video found me at a good moment - I had just finished reading the remarkable book Humbitious: The Value of Low Ego, High Drive Leadership by Amer Kaissi from Trinity University in Texas (he will also be on The Resilient Surgeon Podcast this summer!). His made up word Humbitious refers to the leadership superpower of being humble AND ambitious, and his book provides the science of why it is such a superpower, and also the path to become a Humbitous Leader. The last chapter is Transcendence and this quote is from the chapter:

"As a humbitious transcendent leader, you need to keep your talents and accomplishments, no matter how significant they are, in perspective. You know that you are smart, but you are not all-knowing. You understand that you have personal power, but you are not omnipotent. You see yourself in perspective by realizing that you are just one person in the larger scheme of things. And in that process, you start to realize that you are not the center of your own world. Rather than chasing individual glory, you embrace a collective vision that focuses on the greater good. Most importantly, you realize that you can’t reach that vision without the help of others.

Turns out the word humility comes from the Latin word humilitas, a noun related to the adjective humilis, which may be translated as "humble", but also as "grounded", or "from the earth", since it derives from humus (earth).

And one of the ways to generate a sense of humility is through Awe, particularly by being in nature. A wonderful study (article attached) shows how taking a several day rafting trip can generate feelings of humility (from seeing how insignificant we actually are in this wild and crazy situation we are in) and being alive to the present (finally!).

This video did the trick for me immediately. I felt humility, and presence. Good stuff. The other night my wife was playing the piano and I was on the couch listening. I became overwhelmed with a weird joyful but deep sorrow - joy for her being there playing the piano and the remarkable moment of my just being alive sitting there listening to the beautiful sounds coming from the actions of someone who is alive and with whom I have spent so much time with through thick and thin - combined with the raw reality of the fact that we will not be together on this planet much longer (I am a bit choked up at this moment).

These moments are available to us everywhere, in nature, and in our relationships, if we just slow down a bit, and pay attention with our attention.

I hope you enjoy!


Subscribe To The Resilient Surgeon Newsletter

Get a dose of The Resilient Surgeon straight to your inbox.

Great! Please check your inbox and click the confirmation link.
Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.

Written by