The World’s Most Challenging To Do List

by Kaitlyn Clare Elizabeth Mason

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I stumbled upon this list about a year ago. In trying to live this out in my own life, I have decided that it is the world’s most challenging to do list. Sure, “most challenging” is a subjective label. But I dare you to try it!

You might expect that the world’s most challenging to do list was authored by an Olympic athlete, a mountain climber, or perhaps a Jedi Knight. Instead, it was written by a little old Catholic nun. Her name – Mother Teresa. And she’s soon to be recognized by the Catholic Church as a Saint. In other words, she’s a very reputable source of quality spiritual material and a beautiful example for us to follow!

This is a list of Mother Teresa’s advice on how you can grow in humility:

  1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
  2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
  3. Avoid curiosity.
  4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
  5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
  6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
  7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
  8. Give in to the will of others.
  9. Accept insults and injuries.
  10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
  11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
  12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
  13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
  14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
  15. Choose always the more difficult task.

This list has caused me more pain in life than any workout or physical discomfort I have experienced. Why? Because I am often quick to speak, I don’t like to be wrong, and I don’t like to be misunderstood. Ever.

Who actually likes being humbled? I don’t know anyone who brags about it, that’s for sure.

Despite the pain that can come from learning to be humble, it also promises to bring great rewards.  In fact, we’d be wise to learn to love being humbled!  We’d be wise to keep challenging ourselves to live out this list of “to do’s.” Because Jesus had this to say:

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11