Motivational Quotes

“Why is success so ephemeral? Ego shortens it.  Whether a collapse is dramatic or a slow erosion, it’s always possible and often unnecessary.  We stop learning, we stop listening, and we lose our grasp on what matters.  We become victims of ourselves and the competition.  Sobriety, open-mindedness, organization, and purpose – these are the great stabilizers.  They balance out the ego and pride that comes with achievement and recognition.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Work is finding yourself alone at the track when the weather kept everyone else indoors.  Work is pushing through the pain and crappy first drafts and prototypes.  It is ignoring whatever plaudits others are getting, and more importantly, ignoring whatever plaudits you may be getting.  Because there is work to be done.  Work doesn’t want to be good.  It is made so, despite the headwind.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Every time you sit down to work, remind yourself: I am delaying gratification by doing this.  I am passing the marshmallow test.  I am earning what my ambition burns for.  I am making an investment in myself instead of in my ego.  Give yourself a little credit for this choice, but not so much, because you’ve got to get back to the task at hand: practicing, working, improving.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“We tend to be on guard against negativity, against the people who are discouraging us from pursuing our callings or doubting the visions we have for ourselves.  This is certainly an obstacle to beware of, though dealing with it is rather simple.  What we cultivate less is how to protect ourselves against the validation and gratification that will quickly come our way if we show promise.  What we don’t protect ourselves against are people and things that make us feel good – or rather, too good.  We must prepare for pride and kill it early – or it will kill what we aspire to.  We must be on guard against that wild self-confidence and self-obsession.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Christians believe that pride is a sin because it is a lie – it convinces people that they are better than they are, that they are better than God made them.  Pride leads to arrogance and then away from humility and connection with their fellow man.  You don’t have to be Christian to see the wisdom in this.  You need only to care about your career to understand that pride – even in real accomplishments – is a distraction and a deluder.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Living clearly and presently takes courage.  Don’t live in the haze of the abstract, live with the tangible and real, even if – especially if – it’s uncomfortable.  Be part of what’s going on around you.  Feast on it, adjust for it.  There’s no one to perform for. There is just work to be done and lessons to be learned, in all that is around us.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“The art of taking feedback is such a crucial skill in life, particularly harsh and critical feedback.  We not only need to take this harsh feedback, but actively solicit it, labor to seek out the negative precisely when our friends and family and brain are telling us that we’re doing great.  The ego avoids such feedback at all costs, however.  Who wants to remand themselves to remedial training?  It thinks it already knows how and who we are – that is, it thinks we are spectacular, perfect, genius, truly innovative.  It dislikes reality and prefers its own assessment.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“We don’t like thinking that someone is better than us.  Or that we have a lot left to learn.  We want to be done.  We want to be ready.  We’re busy and overburdened.  For this reason, updating your appraisal of your talents in a downward direction is one of the most difficult things to do in life – but it is almost always a component of mastery.  The pretense of knowledge is our most dangerous vice, because it prevents us from getting any better.  Studious self-assessment is the antidote.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Appearances are deceiving.  Having authority is not the same as being an authority.  Having the right and being right are not the same either.  Being promoted doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing good work and it doesn’t mean you are worthy of promotion (they call it failing upward in such bureaucracies).  Impressing people is utterly different from being truly impressive.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy