I am learning many lessons as I go through the process of promoting my book. One of the biggest lessons has been “humility.” This quote from the book “The Kabbalah of Envy” is a great definition of what humility means to me.
“Many people believe that humility is the opposite of pride, when in fact it is a point of equilibrium. The opposite of pride is actually lack of self-esteem. A humbler person is totally different from a person who cannot recognize and appreciate himself as part of this world’s marvels. His attitude is thus different from someone full of pride, totally centered on himself.
I have had three book signings since my book came out. One was extremely successful and the other two, not so much. I have had to take a look at what success really means. At first, a successful book signing clearly meant having a big turn our and selling lots of books, which was my first experience at my book signing. The second book signing was in another city where no one knows me and the turnout was small. I felt sadden not by the fact that it was small, but I noticed many people walking by my area and they looked as if they wanted to sit down, but were too embarrassed. At the moment it hit me. People are still embarrassed to admit they have an addiction. This was in Las Vegas, Sin City, and it was clear to me that even in 2010 people won’t admit to having a problem. They still see their addictions as a moral issue rather than a disease. Of course, having a small turnout was a humbling experience and I learned to define success in whole new way. I would have felt more “successful” if I could have at least gotten my message out, but unfortunately, Las Vegas was not ready to hear it. I do hope, however, that someone will one day stroll over to the addiction section of that bookstore and get the help they need so that in some small tiny way I have made a difference.
Then I had another book signing over the weekend. Again, not as big a turn out as I expected. Was I disappointed? Yes. Did my pride take over for a few moments? Absolutely. Luckily, it didn’t last long and I just was happy I showed up and suited up, as we say. I carried the message to some people and even got to practice my speaking skills. It turned out, although I didn’t realize it at the time, it was a “successful” evening, and it had nothing to do with selling books. It was all about doing what I say I am going to do and believing in what I do; and if even not one person showed up, I did. That is humility, don’t you think? Please let me know your thoughts so we can start a dialogue about the meaning of humility to you.