Ego is the Enemy

Ego is the enemy — giving us wicked feedback, disconnected from reality. It’s defensive, precisely when we cannot afford to be defensive. It blocks us from improving by telling us that we don’t need to improve. Then we wonder why we don’t get the results we want, why others are better and why their success is more lasting.

Ryan Holiday

The ego — the part of your brain that feels an offense, that holds a grudge for a wrongdoing — is your biggest obstacle to peace of mind, to growth, and to being a positive influence in the lives of those around you.

The battle against the ego is everlasting and evolves over time. When you are able to conquer one of its weapons, suddenly another takes is place. Like the three-headed hydra in Greek mythology, it is indestructible and persistent. So how does one conquer the ego?

The answer is Awareness. Awareness of your emotions. Awareness of your faults and tendencies. Awareness of the imperfection of all human beings. In the Bible we are told that, “For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get” (Matthew 7:2). It is important to realize that all of us are fighting the same battle, learning and making mistakes as we go along the way. We all have egos that put ourselves first and foremost, and all egos are susceptible to attack. To be a mature adult is to be aware, to take responsibility for your actions, even those with unintended consequences, and to accept life in both its good and bad moments. For that is all life is, a river passage that ebbs and flows with time.

Mastery of one’s self comes when one realizes, “I am absolutely responsible for whatsoever happens to me. Whatsoever happens, unconditionally — I am absolutely responsible.”


This acceptance of life is both your burden and your liberation: for you no longer have no one to blame. Life simply is, and it is your responsibility to interpret and act in the most positive and productive manner — the Stoic philosophy of having the courage to change what you can and accept what you cannot is powerful for this very reason.

The mysterious nature of existence cannot be explained by your finite set of experiences in space and time. There is too much happening, too much has happened and too much will happen in the future.

Awareness is the solution.


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