I consider myself a Stoic, Human Scientist, Intelligent Marketer & Futurist. And in my line of work, the word “EGO” I find; is one of the most, moST, MOST abused out there. So much so, if I wanted to make a case on conformity, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion, I would get 5 PhDs in one year on the subject. That’s how dangerous.
Society, when you finally get to understand it, is wired in a very awkward way. Everything is that’s likely, repels at first and all that is unlikely attracts first then gets attached to a space where it gets rejected at last. Everyday society has never figured it and this has always been her source of conflict.
Slow reactors tend to manifest then master natural defensive habits like intellectual insults, prejudice, libel and slander, mockery, blasphemy and so on.
Fast reactors on the other hand with time tend to lose path from associating with slow reactors for too long. This way they develop an awkward deviance to their state. And by resting on their laurels, soon they find themselves as slow reactors and the cycle goes on and on and on, if not arrested; it ruins the subject subconsciously.
Both parties see each other as having a big ego. Logically speaking, who has a big ego of the two? Don’t sweat it, if there is a half mark or a middle ground as the two come in contact with each other simultaneously; this is the size of their ego. Therefore, there is no such thing as a small or big ego. There is only; good and spoilt ego – there is only EGO!
This phenomenon as it can be observed in the lives of the greatest men who ever walked this planet; it is wise for a man to keep wise counsel and interrogate his actions in readiness. Failure to this, for all men have ego; you end up courting a spoilt one. Sometimes it feels larger than life when it’s too much. Ego therefore, is natural in all humans. Any human who claims to have no ego, clearly doesn’t understand EGO.
Good ego leads to victory; spoilt ego to defeatist ideals. In a mind of 400million bits per second, how many people can see things better in their rush? Very few. This is why there is no perfect politics, constant conflict, market price fluctuations and so many disparities in life. For this, life has never been fair – it never will.
Ego is so hard a spot by the bearer. And the ignorant observer, depending on his reaction level and position, only sees what he wishes. A reason politicians (good or bad) always have their way and why voters and citizens are generally a gullible lot. Good or spoilt Ego is none of these vices and states; envy, self esteem, jealousy, ecstasy, or anything emotional owing to a state of existence and survival of oneself or else.
EGO IS THE ENEMY!
Personally, I find the idea of keeping a balanced circle noble. Have a circle composed of 33% people below you (young and inexperienced) – there is always something to learn from them no matter how old or young. 33% of your perceived equals – this is where you exist and grow together till your demise. And 33% of those above you in wisdom and experience (the elderly and people you aspire to and inspire you). As you get older and level up, the people above you won’t be so much above. As such, your top 33% and equals becomes your counsel (if only you choose the wise). In victory and failure, always remember – you are but a mere mortal. This way, you will not be cocky or ruin in their spoilts.
Often, the lesser knowledge and understanding, the “larger” the ego and vice versa. But, not necessarily.
Ego is also an unhealthy belief in our own IMPORTANCE. Ego is the Enemy. Never ever solely believe in your own importance for you are nothing to everything!
This is part of my study on EGO.
Now let’s see instances by Ryan Holiday on the subject of Ego.
The core message of this book is just realizing that ego will always lurk around – it is the enemy of progress.
Ryan Holiday is only 32 years old and part of what I like about him is that he is young and someone I can view as my equal. Ryan also does and believes in many of things I believe in; he is a stoic, has a liking for human sciences and above all – a great marketer. In fact, he is an accomplished marketer, becoming the director of marketing for American Apparel only aged 21 years.
Ryan sees ego as a constant threat he has it tattooed on his arm, “EGO IS THE ENEMY”
Ego when left unchecked, can turn concern into an obsession, confidence into arrogance, and becomes a “disease of me.” It is the reason large kingdoms have fallen. Why Davids kill Goliaths.
According to Ryan, Ego is the enemy cause it subotages our long term goals and as I have alluded to in my independent observation; it distracts the fast reactor from achieving mastery in his craft.
Here are three ways to notice ego working against you and clouding your conscience:
Ego_trap1: In your Great Aspirations
In your great aspirations, Ego is the constant voice in us always asking, “what are people thinking or going to think about me.”
So, instead of taking action; we end up just with our thoughts instead of doing. You unconsciously find yourself trapped in the invincible conviction of work and brilliance and feeding off societal approvals for some sort of heroism. This sounds or look like work by the end of the day. However, on proper assessment, we have done nothing in essence of our aspirations.
Aura is a warning sensation experienced before an attack of migraine. Be focused on real work that is your purpose.
As Bill Cosby would note onetime, “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
remedy This type of ego needs an EQUAL (⏸) to be defeated.
Your equal should constantly challenge your abilities and force you to grow to remain equal. When you have an equal, you have no time obsessing over public opinion; doing so would be wasting your time and risks you falling behind. This is why competition can be good and I view the idea of free market with a great sense of nobility.
If you aspire to be a great athlete, train with great athletes. That’s why great players move to greater teams. If you aspire to be a great writer, surround yourself with other writers in order to share your goals, read each others publications in oder to improve.
Ego_trap2: In your No-worthy Successes
All of success when achieved becomes nonworthy. Like the future is only a day at a time.
After achieving great fete that impress people, for instance, winning a sports Championship, building a successful business, writing a best seller, and so on, our ego gets in the way by fooling us in believing all future endeavors are likely to be a success.
Instead of becoming focused and building upon our success, we have a tendency to become overconfident in our abilities or take on too much.
This is true when Goliath had killed many of Israelites, he thought David was just another of those many opponents he was accustomed to pulverize.
Such was the story of Howard Robard Hughes Jr. At age 18, he made a bold decision to buy out all his family members’ $1 million stake in their family oil drilling company, Hughs Tool Company.
It was a great success as the company moved from $1 million to $1 billion in valuation. It was a bold move for a young man with essentially zero experience in business. It is this boldness that later led to Hughes creating one of the most embarrassing, dishonest and wasteful business track record in history. His early success, made him believe he could succeed in almost any business.
For that, he branched and went into aviation, film and stock trading. Although he was largely viewed as a pioneer in those fields, most of his wealth was squandered over a lifetime.
At the end of his, one of his biographies depicted a scene of Hughes sitting on his favorite white chair naked. To be exact; unwashed, unkempt, working around the clock to battle lawyers, investigations and investors, in an attempt to save his Empire and hide his shameful secrets.
His ego fueled by his early success, led to the waste of his time, talent and money.
remedy This type of ego needs a PLUS (➕) to be defeated.
When it starts generating thoughts of our greatness, we quickly need a dose of HUMILITY. Marcus Aurelius always reminded himself in victory; of his death – that he is mere mortal and an equal to others. We need humility to remain focused on our destination which ends when we actually die.
Thus, humility should always come from remembering there is always someone better than us in our craft or something else and that there is always something bigger than us. Your plus can be your mentor who has achieved a lot that dwarfs your success.
If you love the environment or taking nature walks, doing so will make you acknowledge and reflect the immensity of the world around you. Personally, I like staring through the bedroom window each morning and evening. Just looking at the greatness men have achieved. That same yard is the same as when I was young and it had zero developments – it used to be just one large bare land.
You could also try going to the mountains, a drive by the shores of an ocean or lake, staring down the valley from a rift and such like adventures. These are the things that make you realize how small you really are. This will quell and quiet the ego and help you avoid getting caught up in your no-worthy successes.
This way, you will avoid taking on too much and stop being careless with your limited time.
Ego_trap3: In Failures and Setbacks
remedy This type of ego needs a MINUS (➖) to be defeated.
To conquer this ego, you need to constantly teach what you have learnt from failure and setbacks. Marcus Aurelius would wake up each morning and pen notes about life especially on what he observed, the infamous Meditations.
A minus approach forces you to look objectively at your failures and gather lessons learnt, to pass down to your children or people you will mentor in future. It could even be writing a daily blog, one minute tiktok video, a book and so on. With a responsibility to teach others, you spend less time complaining and more time looking for ways to improve.
If you are in search of excellence and want to do work that you will be proud of one day, realize: EGO IS YOUR ENEMY!
To combat ego, each day; you need to see where you need to ⏸, ➕ , or ➖ .
An excellent read from someone I highly rate and like. Highly recommend Ryan Holiday.
So, next time you hear that word “ego,” stop for a minute and interrogate what you are dealing with. Ego can be a Gordian knot to so many things even the people speaking of it don’t understand what they are saying. One of the most abused words I’ve come across. But in wisdom or life’s fallacies, it remains true:
EGO IS THE ENEMY!
“For each person to be great, they need: someone better they can learn from, someone lesser they can teach, and someone equal they can challenge themselves against.” – Frank Shamrock
I like reading and have read over 400 books since I took upon this challenge some years back. My goal is to have read 1,000 and more intriging books by end of this decade. These are definitely not my top 10 best books even though I rate this one amongst the top 10. I just shared them randomly based on what I figured was a great hack to higher levels of enlightenment.
And this wraps up the 10 Book Recommendation; 1 a Day for 10 Challenge by Eastone. Adios and always read!