When we think of ego the majority of us instantly think of it as a bad thing. Egotistical, vain, and narcissistic are words that often spring to mind. All perceived as negatives by societal norms. But if we look at it from a different perspective we could describe ego as confidence, self-assured and self-belief.
Is the glass half empty or half full - It all comes down to one's perception.
Our ego in many ways provides the answers to many of the questions we often ask ourselves. For some people, their ego can become their identity. It is shaped by experiences past and present and shaped by beliefs both good and bad.
Our ego can be the very thing that makes us achieve greatness, as we've seen in the business world with the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson. But it can also be used to create pain and destruction as we have seen with rulers such as Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Pol Pot. However, whereas the former is without question, the latter is perspective depending on your belief.
Ego much like pride can be the very thing that holds us back in life stopping us from reaching our goals. But the thing to remember is that your ego is not who we are as a person. Much like character traits, it's not set in stone and can be changed with practice and repetition. Don't let your ego define you as a person. Your ego in many cases can be delusional and give you a false sense of perspective.
Ego is The Enemy - Ryan Holiday
Ego is The Enemy is the best selling book by acclaimed author Ryan Holiday. For the best part, his statements and findings are correct. However, what he doesn't mention is how we can use our ego to do good in the world. Mother Teressa has cared and helped for hundreds of thousands of people but she still had a big ego. How you might say - Who wakes up one day and says "I can impact millions of people and change the world for those less privileged. That to a large extent takes a massive ego. She came from nothing but somehow felt compelled that she could impact millions of people from around the world. Did she seek social approval? The large majority would say no but others would disagree.
Is it possible to do good in the world without feeding your ego?
Remember that our ego can often be delusional so don't let it become who you are. When you travel that path it can become a very risky game indeed. Who says that if someone doesn't share the same belief as you that they are wrong. It's merely a difference of opinion. Viewing life from a different perspective.
Some would say ego is about power. But I would say it's much more than that. It certainly can don't get me wrong. But ego, if not harnessed correctly, can be disempowering. If your ego is telling you you're great at something but in reality you're not, then it will hinder your progress and potentially waste considerable time and resources, especially in the world of business and personal growth.
It pays to remember that as humans the majority of us are mere pawns in the game of life. Yes, some turn out to be Kings and Queens, but they are the minority. There is nothing wrong with being a pawn, far from it. The world is full of average people who enjoy their lives. There will always be more followers than leaders because that's just human nature. That's just the way life works. A world full of leaders would create havoc. The world as we know it exists because of hierarchy. Earth, nature and us mere humans all conform to it even though it's often fought with resistance.
So instead of worrying about who we are, where we are going and what others think about us. It pays to remember that knowledge is power and to gain power and influence in abundance we should always look at situations and opinions from more than just our own perspective. The great leaders and influencers in this world have the ability to consider the views and opinions of others while remaining assured of their own beliefs.
Harnessing your ego will allow you to make significant personal growth, allowing you to flourish in your career and build strong relationships.
Author - Damian King