by Tom Reilly, author of The Humility Paradox

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately happy. What a man can be, he must be.” Abraham Maslow

Fish swim. Birds fly. Humans grow. Our lives are works of art that we create for ourselves and for the world. Growth is development. As we grow, we develop into more of whom and what we are. As we grow, we transcend our present circumstances. As we grow, we evolve into a better version of ourselves. Growing is synonymous with adapting, expanding, and progressing. These words are rich in hope and movement. Growth recognizes that viability and relevance demand movement. We cannot grow standing in place lest we become more deeply rooted in our position. Growth moves us. Growth becomes us. Growth transforms us. Humility offers a vision of the self in our imperfect and unambiguous state. It shows an unfinished and incomplete person, pregnant with potential.

Growth runs on curious, restless, and insatiable energy. Growth requires an admission that comes only from humility. We cannot get better until we first admit we can get better. Ownership of our weaknesses is a building block of humility. To maximize our strengths, we must claim our weaknesses. This is The Humility Paradox.

This passage is an excerpt from Tom Reilly’s new book, The Humility Paradox: For Personal and Organizational Growth. It is available online at or at AMAZON.


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