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How Humility Ensures Your Success in Your 20’s

The world is littered with intelligent people who never reach their potential.

When someone doesn’t listen to you, do you want to be around them? No. Most people don’t. When you are in your twenties and trying to make it in your first job, pride can be the thing that prevents you from reaching your goals. Intelligence does not ensure your success in life. The world is littered with intelligent people who never reach their potential. When these intelligent people don’t see things going their way, they fall deeper into their own minds and get more and more frustrated. They are often discouraged and disgruntled.

As a guy who spent 20 years coaching young intelligent people in the corporate world, the number one thing that held people back was their unwillingness to accept and implement feedback. They were uncoachable.

There is a difference between wisdom and intelligence. They are not the same thing. You don’t need experience to be intelligent. You don’t need Humility to be intelligent. But you need both experience and Humility to be wise.

Experience is something you can only acquire over time. If you are in your twenties you might be experienced at going to classes or even playing a certain sport. But you will probably not be experienced in the workplace. The experiences that give us wisdom are the ones where we struggled and maybe even failed. Wisdom rarely grows when things are easy. When things are easy, there is usually nothing pushing us to learn and try something different or new.

But just having experience is not enough to be wise. There are plenty of experienced and intelligent gray haired people who lack wisdom. Why? Because they lack the Humility to learn from their mistakes. When someone refuses to listen to counsel, deflects blame, and will not admit they have room to grow, they will never gain wisdom. Humility is a requirement in becoming wise.

A humble learner becomes wise by asking themselves:

  • How can I become better?

  • Who can I learn from?

  • What should I have done differently?

You will never have all the answers when you are in your twenties. But you don’t need to have all the answers at this point. What you need to do is get in the habit of exercising the Humility to look at your mistakes and failures and learn. Find someone ten years in front of you on your path and learn from their experience. You don’t have to fail the same way they did to gain wisdom. But you do have to learn about their failures and make changes based on their experiences. You can settle for the wisdom of your own experiences or you can accelerate your growth by learning about the experiences of others.

When someone my age encounters someone in their twenties who is thirsty to learn and humble enough to listen, most of us want to pour into that person. We want to see you reach your potential. We want to see you succeed. When we see one of your peers who is uncoachable, we bemoan the waste of talent, and look for the coachable ones.

Be coachable.


  • Who would you want to help succeed, the uncoachable person or the coachable one?

  • How can you demonstrate to the people around you that you are coachable?


“Would you follow you?” That is a critical question we all need to ask ourselves if we want to become Leaders of Character. Research has proven that people want to follow character. But where is your character today? Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you. Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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