It could also mean that what you do is not as important as how you do it. A variation on the notion that The Path is the Goal
. (A very good book on meditation by Chogyam Trungpa)
I agree with your ideas on humility. Lao-Tzu touches upon what you say a great deal in the Tao Te Ching:
Well established hierarchies are not easily uprooted;
Closely held beliefs are not easily released;
So ritual enthralls generation after generation.
Harmony does not care for harmony, and so is naturally attained;
But ritual is intent upon harmony, and so can not attain it.
Harmony neither acts nor reasons;
Love acts, but without reason;
Justice acts to serve reason;
But ritual acts to enforce reason.
When the Way is lost, there remains harmony;
When harmony is lost, there remains love;
When love is lost, there remains justice;
But when justice is lost, there remains ritual.
Ritual is the end of compassion and honesty,
The beginning of confusion;
Belief is a colourful hope or fear,
The beginning of folly.
The sage goes by harmony, not by hope;
He dwells in the fruit, not the flower;
He accepts substance, and ignores abstraction.(chapter 38, Tao Te Ching)
Here one could view the word 'Ritual
' as meaning 'forced attitude/action
', such as assumed humility. If such a thing does not naturally spring forth then it is false. Though it can be said that practice makes perfect!