I know I told everyone that I’d write every month, just to keep my writing skills sharp. I clearly messed that one up.
Which is why I took more than 2 days off for the first time since December 2014 – to recollect, ponder, read and then write.
For my masterpiece three-part series – I’m going to write about the ego.
The big bad ego – one that we actually don’t consider to be that bad and even glorify.
Now some of you might be saying, Uzair who are you to talk about ego? You are the most flashy and egotistical cuck I know.
I’ll address that first by saying I’m not, I’m actually humble AF. And secondly I write mostly for myself anyways so it doesn’t really matter. This post is just something I’ll read over and over again to remind myself not to be.
It can be the same for you.
Because controlling your ego is like sweeping dust on a floor. It’ll always keep coming back and you have constantly sweep it clean.
The reason why I want to talk about the ego is because it keeps on coming up on my pursuit to finding out why some people manage to live fulfilling and accomplished lives while the vast majority don’t. Over and over again, everyone brings up the ego and to beware of its ugly thorns. All the wise men from the past and present warn us about the ego but it seems like no one is listening.
This ego I’m talking about is the unhealthy belief in your own importance and abilities. It’s arrogance, obstinacy, sense of superiority and certainty that exceeds the bounds of rationality. It’s the ego that’s an enemy of the life we want to live. The enemy of doing great work, building loyalty and support, and success – that lasts. It’s the voice that tells us that we’re better than we actually are and keeps us delusional to the real world, alienating those around us.
You end up living in a fantasy world of your creation, disconnected and incapable.
Society and social media isn’t exactly helping out cause either.
So many of us – some more than others – have fallen into the trappings of the ego – chasing empty likes on our selfies – the congratulations from followers we don’t know. We look up to the rebel billionaires, egotistical and eccentric. The Elon Musks, the Howard Hughes and then we try to reverse engineer their success.
We seek to rationalize this negative behaviour by looking at outliers and exceptions – telling ourselves that to become successful you have to be delusional, self absorbed and disconnected.
We are taught to “think big”, “dare to be great” or be “crazy enough to change the world”. It doesn’t help that our parents and teachers continuously build up our self esteem, we get participation awards, told we’re special, that we can achieve anything set our minds to and deserve greatness.
With all this around us – it’s easy to see why we the ego plays such a big role in our lives and it blinds us. We become disconnected from reality and start living in our own imagination. We start to think we’re the main character of a story – and our past – it all happened for a reason and that reason is because we are great and destined for big things. We have an “imaginary audience” that looks at our move while we walk down the street with our head phones on as we walk out of an important meeting that we nailed. We turn ourselves into caricatures in a life that we still have to live.
The sad thing is though, all this “talk” and imagination of what we think success looks like – the money, job titles, the cars – can easily be confused for real accomplishment.
That’s because talking and doing fight for the same resources. When we talk and over visualize our success we begin to confuse it for actual progress. We begin to confuse talk for actual work – not knowing that even children can talk and hype themselves up – and they do. Then the second it gets tough we quit because we think we’ve given it our all but it was just talk.
It’s the ego – it doesn’t allow for proper incubation. It rushes and says patience is for losers – you already have the skills and talents to be the best. After all, telling yourself you’re the best counts – right?
The ego makes us weak. It skips the actual work and just jumps to the end. You act like you’ve achieved but haven’t done shit. You tell yourself that you’re incredible instead of actually being incredible.
Ego also leads to pride – pride you haven’t actually earned and you deep down know that as well. You know at your core you’re a fraud and you have the following thoughts through your head every single day.
On one side there’s an endless stream of self-aggrandizement, the recitation of one’s specialness, how more open, brilliant, knowing, and misunderstood you are. And humble. On the other side, there’s self loathing, things you don’t do well, mistakes you’ve made, how everything you touch turns to shit, you don’t do relationships well.
That you’re a fraud…
All this makes you fragile and you seek to overcompensate.
The root cause of this ego is the fact that achieving big goals is terrifyingly difficult. However, with ego you can tell yourself you’ve made it. It’s easy. All you have to do is turn the rational and aware parts of your brain into bluster and self absorption. Simple.
Except it’s not – if you don’t manage your ego you will live in a prison of your own creation. Success, if achieved will be short lived and fleeting. On the other hand, if you hit failure or even a minor road block – it can prove fatal.