I just finished reading an amazing book by Ryan Holiday called Ego is the Enemy, in the book, he talks about the perils of ego in our life.
Everyone has an ego, the test is containing our ego so that it doesn’t get the better of us.
A lot of people, especially people from privileged backgrounds, often struggle to keep their egos contained.
They believe the world revolve around them.
These are the: “do you know who I am?”
It’s about the pride they have.
This ego, pride prevents them from receiving critical feedback about themselves.
And as a result they don’t grow as human beings.
We can’t take or receive feedback if we are incapable of or uninterested in hearing from outside sources. We can’t recognise opportunities, or create them if instead of seeing what is in front of us, we live inside our own fantasy that we are better than the next person.
When we remove ego, we are left with what is real.
What replaces ego is humility, yes, rock-hard humility and confidence.
Whereas ego is artificial, humility holds weight.
Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned.
Ego is self-anointed, its swagger is artificial.
Ego is concerned about me all the time.
Humility is concerned about serving others all time.
Ego says “look at me, I’m the most ______ [smartest, beautiful, sexiest, talented, fastest etc] of all.”
Humility says: “it is not about me, it is about the work that needs to be done, let’s get to work.”
It takes a special kind of humility to grasp that you know less, even as you know and grasp more and more.
It is remembering Socrates’ wisdom lay in the fact that he knew that he knew next to nothing.
As Ryan Holiday puts it his book:
“Those who have subdued their ego understand that it doesn’t degrade you when others treat you poorly; it degrades them.”
The death of ego will be the birth of your life.
Let go of the ego.