Thursday, March 12, 2015

Frank G. Wells on Humility

Jill here.

I recently returned from a family vacation to California. We lived there for nine years before moving to Oregon, so it's always nice to go back and see old friends. This time, my husband had earned a tour of Disney Studios. It's funny. Disney Studios is in Burbank, California, the same city we lived in for nine years. It's not that big of a place. Our kids were both born in the hospital across the street from Disney Studios, the same hospital Walt Disney died in. But in all the years we lived in Burbank, we had never been able to tour the studio, since it's a closed lot. So this was a treat for us.

I took over a hundred pictures, many more exciting than this one. (I got to hold a real Oscar!) But our fabulous tour guide, Lisa, who, by the way, sang in the Tangled choir (how cool is that?), told us about the Frank G. Wells building, which holds the Disney Archives. And she told us about Frank G. Wells himself. And I wanted to share a bit of that with you.

Frank G. Wells was the president of the Walt Disney Company for ten years, from from 1984 until his death in 1994. The Frank G. Wells building opened in 1998 and was dedicated in his memory. Beside the entrance to the building is a plaque with the quote that Frank carried on a slip of paper inside his pocket for thirty years: “Humility is the final achievement.” It was in his pocket the day he died.




I love that. Here is a successful businessman who understood the power of true humility. That success isn't about getting, it's about giving. Humility doesn't mean doubting your ability or worth. Be confident in your skills. But you need both. Confidence without humility is nothing but ego. And humility without confidence is, well, kind of sad.

And if you find success, that doesn't mean you get to throw out humility. We will always need this trait. Humility motivates us to keep learning. It teaches us to care about others, to look beyond ourselves and our own agendas. Humility keeps us human.

Any thoughts on this quote? Can you share an example of someone you know who practices humility?

16 comments:

  1. I LOVE this quote. I always strive for humility in everything I do. I think it's one of the most attractive and important of human traits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome! It is an amazing quality.

      Delete
  2. What an inspiring and thought-provoking quote. One of the pianists at our church is a perfect example of humility. She started playing the piano when she was three. She went to Juilliard. She traveled for years as a professional concert pianist. She's the most amazing pianist I've ever heard, yet she's also one of the sweetest ladies in our church. She even compliments me on my piano-playing, even though I'll never be as excellent of a pianist as she.

    Thank you, Mrs. Williamson, for this wonderful reminder. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that. How lovely that she can build others up in such a way.

      Delete
  3. I once heard that both egotism and self-consciousness/self-debasement come from selfishness and pride. Whether you think you are the best in the world or the worst in the world, your focus and attention is on yourself. True humility involves being confident in your God-given gifts, doing your best, and keeping your focus on serving others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. It's so true that both are forms of pride. It takes effort and training not to think about ourselves sometimes, but people are so much more beautiful when they focus on others.

      Delete
    2. Yeah! One of my favorite quotes is " “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” from "Mere Christianity" by C.S Lewis.

      Delete
  4. Love that quote! So I'm not kissing up (really), but Jill, you are a lady who shows humility. For years I have watched how you interact with other writers and authors and you never put on airs, only hang out with "successful" authors, or make demands. Instead, you help everyone, even newbie writers :) You are the kind of author I want to be like. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *hugs* Thank you, Morgan. What a lovely thing to say.

      Delete
  5. That's a wonderful quote, and I agree that humility with confidence is so different than humility without confidence (that's just self degrading). A lot of my favorite authors are humble. Even if they may be really successful, they don't let that get to their heads, and they're really down-to-Earth people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful, Ana. It's so great when authors are like that. There was an author I really admired who I met at an event. And she was so snotty and egotistical. I was shocked and embarrassed for her. And then I came home and ever since haven't been able to read the next book in her series, even though I'd already purchased it. She just so rubbed me the wrong way, I'm still in awe over it. It's unfortunate, but success has the potential to really mess people up.

      Delete
  6. Great quote! I guess humility is the final achievement because it's one of those things that gets hard to achieve if you think too hard about doing it. "Look at me, I'm such a wonderful humble per- oh, wait, never mind." My egoism is much easier to identify. Like in old Facebook posts bragging about my achievements. :P

    I'm awed when I read a brilliant book and then the author is so humble and personable on their blog. Or, if people have interacted me online and then I read their book, then it really hits me that "Wow, the author of such and such has taken time out of their day to talk to me personally." You and Stephanie come to mind for the latter scenario. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is very likely, Miri. If someone is being "humble" to make themselves look good, it doesn't come off quite right, I think. True humility is motivated by love for others.

      I'm always tickled when authors write me back too. Frank Peretti once wrote me back and short note and I was so excited I told almost everyone I saw that day! We're all of us people alive on this planet at the same time. I wish we could all hang out face to face! That would be so fun.

      Delete
  7. Wow, what a true quote! I agree with Miri--humility is so hard to accomplish if you're trying too hard to do it. It really requires the right heart attitude to be humble, and those really don't force well. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it depends on why you want to do it. If you're doing it for the right reasons (that "heart attitude" you mentioned), humility still might be difficult at first. It might not come naturally and it might take effort. But I think it will get easier and, if one is doing if for the right reasons, that effort will be blessed and one's heart will change.

      Delete

Home