There’s a great deal of discussion today about this mysterious term called the ego, and the role that it plays in our lives.
Countless thought leaders have lead us to believe that the ego must be eliminated if we wish to be at our best.
Books such as Ego Is The Enemy, have deliberately attacked this innate aspect of the human psyche, leaving no room for even a hint of ego.
And in many ways, they’re right.
The ego is self-centered. It can be aggressive, jealous, spiteful, domineering, and downright cruel.
It hates everything and everyone that gets in its way, or makes any attempt to steal the spotlight.
It feels threatened when in the presence of someone who seemingly possess better skills or knowledge. And will do anything in it’s power to either put that person down, or quote-unquote, beat them.
The ego cares deeply about how it’s perceived by others, primarily because it’s own perception of itself is a negative one. Thus it finds itself many times hurt by the opinions that others have of it.
The ego is flawed. This is obvious.
However the ego is also great, and can be a powerful source of strength.
Think about it.
The ego created the airplane which has allowed humans to become masters of the land and sky, second to no other animal.
The ego built the railways which employed thousands upon thousands of otherwise out-of-work men to feed themselves and their families, while simultaneously pushing the world to an economic state never before seen in human history through the Industrial Revolution.
The ego created the Olympics, which every 2 years halts wars and arguments between nations, allowing them to settle their issues in the arena.
The ego pushed Roger Bannister to break the 4-minute mile, which was seen as impossible by many experts of the time, and would only lead to death.
The ego was the force behind the Great Pyramids of Giza. Forever leaving all subsequent generations in awe of their miraculousness and ingenuity.
And even still the ego pushes thousands of poor, inner-city children to work hard and become great at various sports, allowing them to create a better life for themselves, their families, and even others.
The ego is a wonderful thing when pointed in the right direction.
The ego will one day cure cancer, and the person who discovers the cure will forever be cemented into the history books for their great accomplishment.
The problem then, isn’t the ego. Things are good in moderation, but bad in excess.
The goal then is to achieve that happy balance of pushing oneself to reach new heights, while simultaneously remembering to remain humble and grateful for the opportunity to prove yourself.
And this is only a result of becoming fully aware of the inner workings of your mind. Of becoming fully aware of your thoughts and your emotions.
In other words, it requires great self awareness and a level of mental stability that can take a lifetime to reach.
But if you understand the importance of this task and the effect that it can have on the world around you, then reaching this point of mental stability is worth the struggle.