I once heard from a guy by the name of Derek Sivers that you can have “anything you want”. He even wrote a book titled Anything You Want.
But, he didn’t recommend that I read his book.
Instead he told me to read a book by Ryan Holiday – Ego Is The Enemy.
Considering that my mother would always preach about dropping my ego, it kind of piqued my interest. I understood this whole ego thing on a surface level. But I knew it could be beneficial to dive a little deeper.
So what is ego? The book defines ego as an unhealthy belief in your own importance.
Ego is the enemy of the following: what you want and of what you have; mastering a craft; real creative insight; working well with others; building loyalty and support; longevity; repeating and retaining your success.
How profound. To me this says that self-awareness is paramount. That there is nothing more important than the ability to evaluate one’s self.
I guess this makes sense, right? Without being able to identify yourself from a distance, and get out of your own brain, improvement seems like a real challenge, or maybe even impossible.
Think about the paradigm of the teacher-student relationship. The magic of being a student is not just that it is an elongated occurrence of instruction. It also places the ego and ambition in another persons grasp. There is a a glass ceiling truncating the ego – one knows that he does not possess a higher status than the “master” he apprentices under.
But this isn’t to be said in a negative theme. It’s actually necessary in several instances; you can’t learn if you think you already know.
Pretty simple right? I thought so too. As I continued to thumb through more pages, I really felt the material begin to solidify…
Denial is your ego refusing to believe that what you don’t like and could be factual.
Ego asks: Why in the world is this happening to me? How do I save face and prove to everyone I’m as high and mighty as they think? It’s the innate fear of even the most trivial sign of weakness.
The key thing to realize here is that any fool can learn from experience. The trick is to learn from other people’s experience.
This will put you miles ahead of everyone else. You’ll be playing chess, and your peers will be stuck on a checkers board.
Well, hope that book summary helps a little. You can apply it to your place of business, managing relationships with your friends and family, or however you please. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me on my contact page. Look forward to my next post!