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Introduction: Why is the ego the enemy?
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The ego is the sense we have of our self-esteem and our self-worth. When it comes to moving forward in life, Ryan Holiday, author of Ego is the Enemy argues that both in success and in failure, ego only gets in the way and holds us back. The time we spend in our own heads comparing ourselves to others and measuring our esteem is time that is distracted from the real work we could be doing—the work of producing our art and cultivating our life’s task.
What we’re lacking in the world isn’t sources of motivation—it’s self-discipline. Motivation is fickle and requires constant attention. Discipline is reliable and becomes a way in which you lead your life. Follow these 3 steps to improve your self-discipline and keep moving forward!
“You wake up with a list of all the people you’d rather be. But you’re already on everyone else’s list.” ~ Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You
“Who wouldn’t want to write a best-selling book or lose weight or earn more money? Everybody wants to achieve these goals. The real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the sacrifices required to achieve your goal. Do you want the lifestyle that comes with your quest? Do you want the boring and ugly process that comes before the exciting and glamorous outcome?” ~ James Clear, Blog
“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
“It doesn’t matter how talented you are, how great your connections are, how much money you have. When you want to do something – something big and important and meaningful – you will be subjected to treatment ranging from indifference to outright sabotage. Count on it.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
“Talking and doing fight for the same resources. Research shows that while goal visualization is important, after a certain point our mind begins to confuse it with actual progress. The same goes for verbalization. Even talking aloud to ourselves while we work through difficult problems has been shown to significantly decrease insight and breakthroughs. After spending so much time thinking, explaining, and talking about a task, we start to feel that we’ve gotten closer to achieving it. Or worse, when things get tough, we feel we can toss the whole project aside because we’ve given it our best try, although of course we haven’t.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
“A healthy sense of self-confidence is a critical factor in achieving our goals. This holds true whether our goal is to earn a college degree, build a successful business, enjoy a satisfying relationship, or train the mind to become happier. Low self-confidence inhibits our efforts to move ahead, to meet challenges, and even to take some risks when necessary in the pursuit of our objectives. Inflated self-confidence can be equally hazardous. Those who suffer from an exaggerated sense of their own abilities and accomplishments are continuously subject to frustration, disappointment, and rage when reality intrudes and the world doesn’t validate their idealized view of themselves. And they are always precariously close to sinking into depression when they fail to live up to their own idealized self-image. In addition, these individuals’ grandiosity often leads to a sense of entitlement and a kind of arrogance that distances them from others and prevents emotionally satisfying relationships.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“Motivation is so important. In fact all human action can be seen in terms of movement, and the mover behind all actions is one’s motivation. If you develop a pure and sincere motivation, if you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion, and respect, then you can carry on any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you ultimately will be successful in reaching your goal. Even if you fail to achieve your goal, you can feel good about having made the effort. But with a bad motivation, people can praise you or you can achieve goals, but you still will not be happy.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“Each moment of our life, we either invoke or destroy our dreams.” ~ Stuart Wilde, via Blog of Jonathan Fields
“Is there something you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time but haven’t? Why haven’t you? Is it better to have dreams that may never come to pass, or to stick with those that can be readily achieved? …How much better would your life be if your dreams came true? What dreams have you already achieved?” ~ Gregory Stock, The Book of Questions
“If you could place yourself anywhere on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is having security and comfort and goals within easy reach, and 10 is taking risks, struggling, and reaching for great achievement, what number would you like to be at, and why? …Where are you now?” ~ Gregory Stock, The Book of Questions