I am a huge fan of Ryan Holiday and as a true fan, I just had to read his latest book. It was awesome. It talks about Ego.
The ego we see most commonly goes a more casual definition: an unhealthy belief in our own importance. Arrogance. Self-centered ambition. That’s the definition this book will use. It’s that petulant child inside every person, the one that chooses getting his or her way over anything or anyone else. The need to be better than, more than, recognized for, far past any reasonable utility – that’s ego. It’s the sense of superiority and certainty that exceeds the bounds of confidence and talent.
The book is divided into three parts. Aspire, Success and Failure.
“To whatever you aspire, Ego is the enemy” . The first part has to do with Talk, talk, talk. This part hit home for me. I am guilty. There is a need to be silent and just do. Talking saps energy. Become a student – this means subdue your ego and seek to improve. “Don’t be passionate” – I struggled a bit with this one because I still believe passion is important but I actually saw the wisdom in this quote. “The critical work that you want to do will require your deliberation and consideration. Not passion. Not naivete”. “Restrain yourself”. “Work, Work, Work”.
“To whatever success you have achieved, Ego is the enemy”. “Do you know how you can tell when someone is truly humble? I believe there’s one simple test: because they consistently observe and listen, the humble improve. They don’t assume, ‘ I know the way'”. ” Don’t tell yourself a story” – Don’t start rounding the edges and forming a mythology around yourself. “Narrative is when you look back at an improbable or unlikely path to your success and say: I knew it all along. Instead of: I hoped”
“To whatever failure and challenges you will face, Ego is the enemy” – “Maintain your own standards” – “It’s a harder road at first but one that ultimately makes us less selfish and self-absorbed. A person who judges himself based on his own standards doesn’t crave the spotlight the same way as someone that lets applause dictate success. A person who can think long term doesn’t pity herself during short-tern setbacks.”
There are lot more lessons in this book. I like that it is short and to the point. I will definitely re-read and I recommend to everyone.