In Ego Is The Enemy, Ryan Holiday teaches you to stay humble in your aspirations, gracious in your success and resilient in your failures.
How to achieve your aspirations?
Ego is your worst enemy and can easily sink your ship. Ego blocks your progress in life and sometimes fast tracks your downfall. To improve and fight your ego, you must:
- Be open to feedback but learn to evaluate your own abilities.
- Practice detachment, tame your imagination before it runs wild and go through life with a quiet confidence.
- Don’t stay stuck in your head. Instead, participate in what is going on around you.
- Try staying silent in conversation. Silence can be strategic and is sustainable.
- Always seek to learn. When you are a student, you absorb what is going on around you, you are focused on gaining knowledge and improving yourself.
- Avoid being passionate. Instead, favor purpose and realism.
- Ignore when people slight you and brush off the pain. Just think of it as you paying your dues.
- Avoid being prideful. Pride leads to arrogance. It impedes your ability “to learn, to adapt, to be flexible, to build relationships”.
- Doing ever stop working.
How to maintain success?
You have aspirations and you have worked so hard to climb the ladder of success. However, when you start succeeding, you will start facing new ego problems that can quickly erode your success. To maintain long-term success:
- Don’t pretend that you know what you are doing. Instead, keep learning, stay focused on facts and do your best.
- Don’t compare yourself to others or try to keep up with the Joneses because you will end up doing things you don’t want to do.
- Always remember your purpose and what is important to you before saying yes to opportunities.
- Don’t be paranoid, entitled or controlling.
- Learn to organize your thoughts, manage yourself and others.
- Understand that selflessness and humility are strengths and not weaknesses.
- Don’t try to be the center of attention, hug the spotlight and take credit for something you didn’t do or deserve.
- Patiently progress towards you goals. It is better to go at it slow and steady.
How to handle failure?
Ego, power and success can make you delusional. You have to constantly self-monitor and stay attentive for your own downfalls. Moreover, everybody goes through setbacks in life. Failure is not fair and happens to good people too. But with a big ego, you tend to get caught by surprise. Your ego will make it hard for you to handle rock bottom. To be resilient in your failures:
- Know your worth.
- Stay humble and on purpose.
- Don’t abandon your principles and maintain your character.
- Don’t depend on recognition and reward.
- Make use of your environment and transform your failures into something positive.
- Understand that, even if you do everything right and perfect, you still will experience failure.
- Discipline yourself to do the right thing. It will be hard but it will makes you less self absorbed on the long run.
Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday is short, practical and direct self-development book. According to Ryan Holiday, there are three stages in life: aspirations, success, failure. You will have to discipline your ego in all three stages if you want to get somewhere. Ego is our own worst enemy. It becomes detrimental to suppress or manage our ego before we develop bad habits. For example, he warns us against common knowledge:
- Don’t be passionate or you will fail. It is better to be apathetic and acknowledge the realities of your passions.
- Don’t flatter your ego.
- Don’t think you know everything.
Ego Is The Enemy is ideal for leaders who want to tame their ego, improve their leadership and relationships.
Let me know below what you think about this book!
Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned. Ego is self-anointed, its swagger is artifice. One is girding yourself, the other gaslighting. It’s the difference between potent and poisonous. Detachment is a sort of natural ego antidote. For your work to have truth in it, it must come from truth. We will learn that though we think big, we must act and live small in order to accomplish what we seek. The ability to deliberately keep yourself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong. All of us waste precious life doing things we don’t like, to prove ourselves to people we don’t respect, and to get things we don’t want.
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