Living in Obscurity and the Importance of Humility

This video by Dr. Wayne Dyer speaks of the importance of living in obscurity and the importance of humility.

I don’t know what year it is from, but from the pop culture references he makes it is definitely several years old!

The advice, however, could not be more important today given the proliferation of social media and the role it plays in our lives.

This video also summarizes the reason why I dislike Facebook.

Dr. Dyer opens the video by describing the sense of “notice me” in today’s society.  He then spoke of Lao Tzu’s idea of living in obscurity and its relation to our obsession with celebrity culture, and its “look at me” mentality.

Dr. Dyer said the Tao teaches something completely opposite, and states “The sea stays low, and because the sea stays low, all of the rivers and streams empty into it.”  He said that because the sea is humble, it teaches us the importance of letting things come to us.

He then spoke about a personal experience with one of his books.  Dr. Dyer said he called his wife to ask where he was on the the bestseller list for that week, she replied that he was not.  When he responded with shock, she replied that his book was on the bestseller list, not him!

Dr. Dyer admitted that he himself had become a victim of the “notice me” mentality, and at the time his ego was pretty strong.  He said he had since learned that true nobility is not about being better than everyone else but being better than you used to be.

Dr. Dyer said he has learned that his happiest moments have been when he has done things “low and slow”, or anonymously.

He then went on to speak about Alcoholics Anonymous and its sense of purpose, and lack of titles and roles, all in the name of helping people anonymously.  He described the feeling the he got when attending AA meetings, and being in the presence of people who only wanted to help each other.

Dr. Dyer said we can be little more obscure, and practice a little less “notice me” when speaking with others.  He said before interrupting them so that we can speak, we can stop ourselves and say “tell me more.”

He says that everything will come to us at the exact perfect time and place, but we have to trust.  We don’t have to chase after it.  We can then become less obsessed with our ego and self importance, and who we are or what we’ve done.

With the prevalence of social media, how sage is this advice?

Instead of using it to connect, build relationships, and to learn, how often do we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, or see others use it to boast or brag?

You have to look no further than the selfies and constant status updates to see how this applies Facebook.

I believe we would be much happier if we stayed humble, helped others, and used social media to enhance our lives, and the lives of those around us, instead of using it to say “look at me” or “notice me”.