If you want to be successful—truly successful—the most important thing is to fully believe that you need to learn. And, this will never end. You need to ask questions, be in doubt, be humble in your ability, be curious on how to be better, learn from others, help those who you admire in exchange for gaining experience and seek to be useful. That’s it. Probably much more simple than you imagine, yet challenging to sustain because your ego argues otherwise—that you already know all you need to know.
When we accomplish some goal—a degree, a promotion, a skill—we so very often feel we have “made it” and that something is owed to us. Nothing is owed to us. We have the right to the work we do as we experience it, but not the outcome. This means that we own our experience, but any reward is something external to our control. When we let the outcome go, we master our work, our craft.
When we take on a new position, we are precisely at a point where we need to learn, and generally this is much more than we even know. We need to establish our worth, not expect others to feel privileged that we work for or with them.
Precisely at the point of thinking we know “it,”, we stop learning. If we feel we’ve mastered something, we believe there is no room, desire nor need to learn, and this an extremely stagnant and off-putting place in which to dwell. Our egos would love for us to believe that we have it all handled. But we don’t and, sadly, when we truly believe this, we’re even farther from our success and don’t even know it.
Being humble may be the smartest career move you could ever make.
“If ego is the voice that tells us we’re better than we really are, we can say ego inhibits true success by preventing a direct and honest connection to the world around us.”—Ryan Holiday, “Ego Is the Enemy”