I want to share a lesson I learned on humility and all around general happiness. At he peak of my success in my late twenties. What seemed like the moment of victory after doing the “personal” homework. I had filtered through my own bullshit, so to speak. Or so I had briefly thought. Midway through the last intake of my schooling program. I had never felt more focused or more determined. I had a clear vision of who I was and where I wanted to go and it felt great, but it also came at a cost. I allowed my ego a small seat at the emotional table. I had shaken many of my traumas and bad habits but this teacher we like to call life never truly leaves class. Allowing myself to go full “beast mode” and anyone who thought differently or wasn’t quite on my level should simply step aside. I was somewhat aware of this behaviour and I was somewhat unsure of how to shake it without losing sight of my vision. Until an opportunity disguised as a fellow student who was what seemed like to myself  some of the others in class; annoying, distracting or not quite on the level I seemed to have imagined. There were instances where I was engulfed in this focus so much that I allowed my ego to judge and even lash out towards this individual and anyone who seemed to subconsciously obscure my train of thought. I wasn’t trying to be mean or inconsiderate. I was simply using what I had to become what I thought I wanted to be. Under all of this personal and educational pressure I would sometimes feel overwhelmed or stressed and would find myself wondering why I felt this way. Finally I felt that focus and immovable drive to go out and get after my goals. So why do I feel this stress and pressure without feeling equal amounts of joy. I questioned this for a while until that student came up to me sitting outside of class. Waiting to go in after lunch. He began to enquire about what we had learned in the previous weeks. My ultra focused head down in the material that he was in fact talking about. I looked up and in that moment my practices of mindfulness and awareness came to the head of my thoughts. I realized I had one of two choices. Either I was to continue the habitual behaviour my ego was fuelling and most likely remain in the unbalanced archetype that I had created. Shake off this individual and go back to doing what ever my ego was chiming me to do. Or I could surrender myself and put down the ideology that we are not equal or one in the same. Just two different stories and experiences walking through this life. For the short amount of time focusing on the same goal, like many others. I can have compassion for all those around me and not be the negativity we can often judge right away.

So you can imagine that if I had chosen option one there wouldn’t really be a point to writing about this experience, now would there? Immediately after that mindful filtering of my own bullshit I have a chance for a genuine connection with someone who at the beginning was thought as a distraction. That was my own perspective of the situation created through fear of losing sight of my goals. I was left with a flash of relief, a sense of joy pulse through my body. I could not help to crack a friendly smile towards this individual. It’s was a small paradigm shift that left a rippling effect of happiness on my soul. I carried this joy with me for the rest of the day. Where I reflected on that same question of why I didn’t feel the abundant amount of joy I thought checking off all these life boxes would fulfill. The lesson at large that I felt almost immediately after was that we are never to far ahead of ourselves to simply be our kind and present selves. In the end it’s those little authentic moments that leave us more mindful, more present and more happy. Productivity does not always lead us down the path of peace and fulfillment. We carry that with us no matter where we are in life. Through the little bits of joy and understanding we can bring to others at any given moment. 

Tanner Johnston

One thought on “Humility

  1. This is amazing! I completely agree that you can do anything you put your mind to! Life is an amazing journey. Best of luck in all of your experiences and way to own everything you’ve gone through.


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