Ego Is the Enemy, Book by Holiday, Ryan
We are all familiar with the word “ego“. Although the word is originally English, it has become quite common in any language. If someone is ahead of anyone in any task in life, it may be to be first in class; Maybe get more success in business or job. If there is even the slightest hint of violence in one’s mind, it is generally assumed that one has an “ego problem.“
But it is better to call this problem jealousy or envy than ego. Jealousy is a part of the ego but the scope of the ego is bigger. It can wipe out your potential life and career. So knowing what the ego is, and getting out of it is very important for personal and professional life.
So today let’s find out how and why ego is the biggest enemy in your development accordingly the bestseller author Ryan Holiday’s famous book “Ego is the Enemy” and how to avoid it.
About the Author:
Ryan Holiday is a writer, marketing expert, and successful entrepreneur. He is a regular columnist for many famous magazines, including Forbes, Huffington Post, The Guardian, etc. In addition to Ego is the Enemy, his other books are “The obstacle is the way“, “Growth hacker marketing and trust me“, “I am lying” – several top-selling bestsellers.
What is ego?
There are many conventional definitions of ego, but according to Ryan Holiday, ego is “an unusual belief in one’s own greatness. It is accompanied by arrogance and self-centered and selfish ambitions.”
According to the author, we all know ego is a bad thing, and it is present in all of us to some degree. And that is why it is our responsibility to control it. In the book, the author explains how ego can make your life good or bad.
Unusual and unrealistic high self-esteem can completely stop a person’s journey to success. The ego is like a little devil living among people that teaches a person to think of himself as much bigger than he really is.
You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. But a confident person also knows what his current condition is. He knows very well how much more work he has to do to be as big as he wants to be.
The one who has ego in him starts thinking big before he really grows up. This thought prevented him from moving forward on the path to true growth. The reason is very natural if you have already thought that you have already done a lot of big things, but do not feel the need to bother to do something really big.
Ego plays this game with us. The ego-filled man sits with his false arrogance, and the others rise above him to become truly great.
Again, many people start to think of themselves as big with some success. They think they have nothing more to prove. Because of this they stop moving forward and work hard. But they do not realize that without this misconception they could have gone much further. Or even if he understands, he doesn’t want to admit it because of that destructive ego.
One of the main symptoms of a strong ego problem in a person is that they do not want to admit mistakes. Many times they misunderstand but they do not admit it. That denial is to others as well as to themselves. And it is impossible to correct the mistake without admitting it. If a person with ego has a problem with English grammar, and if you go to him to correct it, he will be angry with you. It will be the teacher’s fault if he gets low marks in the exam, but he will not try to increase his own knowledge.
One more thing about people with egos, they want to pretend to be more knowledgeable than they know themselves. Like a Bengali proverb, they “always understand two lines more”. If you think they just want to convince others that they know more, then you are wrong. They actually believe in themselves that they are the most knowledgeable about anything. After a little bit of research on a subject, they assume that they have actually learned a lot. And this belief takes them away from the process of acquiring knowledge before they know too much about anything.
You can never argue with an ego-filled person. That is, they will never give up in an argument. Even if they understand that the man in front of them is more reasonable and proven than they are, they will not obey.
A sick person by ego loves to blame the situation or other people all the time without learning from that failure even if they fail. They never look at themselves to see where they are wrong. This is because they are in a daze. They think that there is nothing wrong with them and that they cannot be wrong in any way.
At the beginning of this writing, jealousy, slander, violence, etc. are compared to the ego. These are actually the results of ego. When a man is a victim of ego, he unnecessarily begins to think of himself as greater than others. When someone is better at something than that, he somehow tries to catch his mistake. Either way, try to make other people smaller. And as a result, ordinary people do not like him, even the people close to him go away. The ego is actually a mental paralysis, which makes you believe in flying now while you are in bed.
Ego: Your biggest enemy…
In the best-selling book “Ego is the Enemy”, the author discusses how the ego has influenced several celebrities, past and present. In addition to that discussion, he talks about how to overcome ego and find true success in life. We will not discuss those people in such detail in this review however, here accordingly to the book, we will try to give you a clear idea about ego, as well as tell you in detail the ways out of it.
The book is divided into 3 parts or sections. In these three sections, the author discusses the three main stages of life that the ego can influence the most. In these places, the ego is more likely to get out of control, and it can knock you out of your path to success.
These three important stages of life are as follows:
- Goals and Desires: In this part of life, people set goals for themselves, and strive to achieve them.
- Early success: In this part of life, people begin to fulfill their goals, and begin to receive praise from others.
- Failure: In this case, the overall condition of the person deteriorates and he has to deal with various personal and social problems.
In the book, the author has explained these three stages in a great way. In addition to explaining, he taught readers how to set their own goals correctly. As well as taught how to manage relationships with yourself and others. In the face of failure, how to get out of the problem without losing your cool head, mood, and personality – the author has explained in a very beautiful way in the book.
In the book, the author clearly distinguishes between desire and ego.
According to him, those who have ego instead of true goals and aspirations do not actually work. They waste more time talking than working.
The ego makes a man believe that he knows everything. Desire makes a person believe that there is no end to learning. With a little bit of success, people start thinking of themselves as much bigger if there is more ego in them. As much as he has not achieved success, there is more arrogance in his body language and speech. And this pride is the cause of their downfall.
On the other hand, those who can control their ego are always humble. They know that there are still many opportunities for them to learn and improve. They move forward with humility and not arrogance.
When it fails, an ego-driven person tries to get over it by blaming others all the time. He wants to be good to himself without seeing where he was wrong or lacking. On the other hand, a true working man learns from his mistakes by beautifully observing his mistakes.
As I have said before, the author has also told the way out of these problems in his book. Let’s find out the ways to get rid of ego.
3 Methods of ways to get rid of ego
01. Canvas method:
According to the author, to conquer the ego in this way, you have to stop being too happy with short-term success. Instead, make it a habit to improve yourself in the long run. The author says the happiness of short-term success comes from complacency. And this complacency creates unreasonable pride instead of inspiring people. When you look at the canvas of achieving your goals all the time, one new goal after another keeps coming up. By doing so, he will not be too self-absorbed in his current knowledge or success. Rather he will see more areas of his own improvement. Sometimes the joy of being able to learn something new is more important than the joy of accomplishing a goal.
Suppose you want to run a 26 km marathon. But if you start to think of yourself as a great runner after learning the art of running 5 km – then you will no longer have the desire to do what you need to do to acquire the skill of running 26 kg. The whole canvas has to be floated on the screen of the mind at all times. After you have mastered five miles, when you look ahead and have 21 miles left, you will be in a hurry to do better. Then if that goal is met, your goal is to take part in a bigger competition. This is why successful people with big minds always want to ‘surpass themselves’.
The author suggests two things to keep in mind at the beginning of any work if you want to work following the canvas method.
1.Being humble: Before you start any work, think that you are not as important as you think you are. Be successful first, then think about your importance. According to the author, this thought will help you to be polite and calm at work. A lot of times you see great players win the World Cup or something like that, that they have room to improve further. Once the record for most goals is set, many of the best players say they want to take the record even higher. Want to “surpass themself”. This is because they are always careful not to let their achievements fall prey to their ego. When a big goal is met, they look for a bigger goal.
2. Keep in mind the limitations of knowledge: Before starting any work, always keep in mind how much you actually know about that work. Remember one thing, there is no end to knowing anything, and you do not know everything about this work. So you have a lot to learn from this work. The author does not just talk about the field of being happy with your success in this chapter. He said that we should not think only of success alone. To make the canvas bigger, we have to think about others as well. One person’s success most of the time comes with the success of some other people. If you want to get success by bypassing ego, you have to work in such a way that it is easy for others to do the same for them. When it comes to working in a new place, don’t go for less than your full potential. Assume that the people you work with are more knowledgeable than you are. By doing this you will be able to learn a lot of new things. Only after others have gained the knowledge of themselves and acted upon it, when they gain confidence in you, will they value your opinion. So start working with the mentality of learning from others first. As a result, the ego will not be able to defeat you. To master the canvas method, the author suggests thinking like the ancient steaks. Stickers saw themselves as “students of life.” They used to keep learning as a vow of their life. And this mentality inspires them to be humble and humble at all times. As well as what they wanted to know, they could learn from the best people.
The author concludes this chapter with a quote from the philosopher Epicatus – “If a man thinks that he knows something, he can’t know (literally).
02. Methods of work and belief
According to the author, the first step in overcoming ego in this way is to start talking less. People with egos love to talk about their old age. They talk about what they will and will not do in the future, but they do nothing about it. According to the author, this big talk habit actually slows down the pace of work from within humans. Unnecessary complacency arises in oneself while talking big about one’s own plans. So there is not much interest in going to that stage by working. According to the author, if people get into real work instead of talking big, the power of speech becomes the power of action.
In addition to working without speaking, the author discusses another issue in this chapter – faith. If you want to do a successful job, you must have faith in yourself. But if a person wants to succeed by overcoming all kinds of ego, then he has to trust others as well.
The author’s observation is that ego often prevents people from relying on other people’s abilities. Many times because of ego, people think that no one in the world can do something better than him. Because of this thinking, some people want to do all the work alone and as a result, they do not have a good relationship with others at work. Also, the work is actually not as good as it could have been – not as good as it used to be.
People cannot trust others because of their overconfidence. Even with the knowledge of the skills of others, people with ego can’t trust them – because they think it’s best to do it themselves.
In this chapter, the author wants to convey to the readers that faith is a very important issue in every aspect of our lives. There is indeed no need to trust everyone. But looking closely at a person and seeing his work gives a pretty good idea of his honesty and efficiency. Even if you work with a person with a sick ego for a long time, he will not trust you to give you any responsibility. But because of this, many big potential projects are not as successful as they should be.
The author says that faith increases the speed of work many times over. The pace of success of a business is highest when owners, employees, partners rely on each other. When the work of a project is divided among several people, then several works are done together at the same time. If there are four steps in a project, and there are four people in the office. Each of them has good knowledge and skills about the job. But there is one of them who has a problem with ego. He decided to take down the whole project himself without letting others do the work. He had to work four hours at a time to do the four steps of the project.
But if this work was done by four people, it would be seen that the work could be completed in one hour. But instead, it took more than three hours to do the work because one man did not want to leave any part of the work in the hands of others because of his ego.
According to the author, if you overcome ego and trust others, then the speed of work will increase, and others will also trust and respect you.
03. Method of accepting Success and failure
Unexpected results in any task are actually like turning a road. At this point, you will have the opportunity to make yourself a little better.
These unexpected results can be both good and bad. And at this point Ego makes his big move. In such a situation ego can cause you to deviate from the right path. The ego has the power to end you both – bad and good.
When you do something bad or wrong, your ego admits that mistake to you and doesn’t correct it, it encourages you to impose that responsibility on others. If the ego is a victim in this situation, you can never get out of that bad situation.
Again when you do something good or achieve more than expected, your ego does not want to give credit to others for that success. The ego tells you that the whole credit for the work goes to you alone. This kind of ego makes it very difficult to maintain success and respect.
The author advises you to behave in both these situations so that the ego does not take control of your mind. – How?
Whenever you find yourself in a better-than-expected situation, you need to think about the best time to improve yourself.
If you fail miserably, you need to think about what was wrong with you and what you can do to correct it.
Again if you get more success than expected, think, if the work can be done better upfront, you will get more success. Give thanks to those who have supported you in various ways during your work. Congratulate and thank them. Think carefully about who contributed to your success. If necessary, sit down with a pen and paper.
Never let pride and frustration get in the way of you. Depression is a weakness that can lead to arrogance that prevents you from admitting your mistakes. And you yourself know that arrogance brings about the downfall of people. The same thing happens with success. Remember, no one can succeed alone. If you come up with something out of the ordinary, then they have to re-think their position.
Each new idea is actually a mixture of different knowledge. You may not even realize that your ‘unique idea may have come after reading ten books. The knowledge of the ten books in your subconscious has given birth to new knowledge.
So be polite at all times. Never let ego dominate you. If you think of yourself as the lord of the world, then remember, you are not the lord of the world, the ego has become your lord, that is why this strange thought has come into your head.
Hopefully, from this book review, you have got a good idea of what ego is and how to get rid of it. Many people have egos but they can’t catch their own illness because of their ego. If you feel like you have some of this ego in you, now is the time to apply Ryan Holiday’s advice.
We, along with the author, hope that the readers will be freed from the trap of ego by recognizing it. In a word, life becomes much easier with just a little change of attitude, ego will only make your life more and more complicated.
If you think that someone close to you is suffering from an ego problem and he will benefit from this article, share the article with them on social media. Save yourself from the enemy called ego, help others to survive too. Thanks for reading! 🙂