Listening to Ego

ego quote Richard Rose

It often starts like this “Well I need a healthy ego to bolster my self confidence and achieve things in the world”.

Here is a definition of ego that I think is pretty good:

a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
“a boost to my ego”
synonyms: self-esteem, self-importance, self-worth, self-respect, self-image, self-confidence

I highlighted self-importance because this is where the destructive side of ego is unveiled. We get ourselves into all kinds of life limiting thought patterns, when we are controlled by our egoistic mind. Here is where we come up with ideas like I’m better than someone else, or I deserve to have something. To start out with your not better than anyone else and you don’t really deserve anything. Our ego will limit what we do because instead of working for something we end up  trapped in our egotistic thoughts and become resentful thinking we deserve it.

Here are a few examples of ego driven thought patterns:

  • My boss is such a moron and doesn’t deserve his or her position. I’m much smarter than them; why am I stuck in this mediocre job? – Now that’s a nice judgmental attitude and to top it off a bit of entitlement thrown in for good measure.
  • You tell yourself that I’m so fit and healthy, and when you see that overweight person walk by, you think to yourself wow they are fat and should lose some weight. Nice now your ego facilitates physical comparisons, judging people by how they look without knowing anything about them.  
  • You are driving your 10 year old car and you see someone with a new 100k Tesla, and you think why don’t I have a car like that? Again a sense of entitlement mixed in with unhealthy comparison.
  •  Everyone is an idiot, the conservatives and liberals in this country are completely clueless. Everyone in government is corrupt and worthless. Sure you are qualified to be the judge and jury for just about anything.

Do you see a pattern here? As you let your ego drive your thoughts a few patterns of behavior emerge. The egotistic mind results in being judgmental, critical, comparing yourself to others, and a sense of entitlement. All of these thoughts prevent you from doing something productive with your time and will only chip away at whatever level of happiness you currently have.

Stop this shit!

You don’t deserve anything. If you want something go out and get it, but quit thinking you deserve it, because you don’t. You not entitled to anything that you haven’t earned.

Stop judging people! You just met someone and you begin judging how smart they are or how attractive they are. This is bullshit and you know it. You just met them so you don’t know anything about them; quit judging and get to know them. You might be shocked at how reserving judgement allows you to get to know some really great people.

It’s your ego that keeps telling yourself that your better than everyone else. Another ego trip that we indulge in is we begin to think we are the role we play at work. Maybe this role is well compensated or comes with a big office and lots of perks. You feel pretty special as the Director of ______________ (fill in the blank). Your sense of identity and most of your waking hours are wrapped up in living out this role. The egotistic mind loves it when you become some role, as it just makes life so much simpler.

Stop kidding yourself, that role you are so fond of is temporary and you know it. What happens the day you walk out that door and are no longer the Director of x? If you are driven by your ego, you may be crushed or madly searching for another role to attach yourself too.

Just for a while observe your own ego and catch yourself when you become judgmental or begin comparing yourself to others. You will come to a realization that your ego is getting in the way of you having a real life. Kill the ego and begin enjoying your life.

Namaste

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Observations about “Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”

I recently started listening to the audio book A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. I’ve always loved Eckhart Tolle’s quotes, but have never read or listened to any of his work. This book from Audible.com is about 9 1/2 hours, which makes it great for my long daily commutes. This Audible version of Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose is actually narrated by Eckhart Tolle himself, which I really like because he is flat out brilliant.

Eckhart Tolle - Awakening to Your Lifes Purpose eckhart tolle picture1

At this time I’ve listened to about 4 hours or what amounts to several chapters in the book. While I never like to give away too much in these posts, as to not spoil it for the reader; I am really enjoying this audio book. Tolle spends a lot of time talking about how the ego has prevented us from being ourselves, from finding any sense of our true self. He also spends a lot of time discussing our material desires that are driven by ego or sense of a false self, and how we cling to roles that we so closely identify with as we feel they define ourselves by these roles.

This is really an incredible audio book because it makes you question everything you think you are and value. If you have questions about a world where we seek to divide groups of people, where material wealth is king, where we seek to feel superior to others, and live a life stroking our egos then you will really enjoy Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

Namaste

 

 

Clinging to a sense of self

Selflessness

Identifying yourself as a role

Think of all the roles you play in your life, from mother or father, provider, democrat or republican, atheist or christian. May be you are a student, doctor, lawyer, policeman, drug dealer, psychiatrist, software engineer, accountant, salesperson, American, Indian, Chinese, South African, Brazilian, Canadian, or Italian. Whatever you think you are you have over the years created this way of identifying who you are by one of these roles or associations. Our sense of self is often all wrapped up in what we do, the roles we play, and who we associate with. This sense of self is of course impermanent as life changes and results in changes in your roles.

Clinging to these roles

Clinging to a sense of self and then creating an ego based on your roles makes for a very limiting existence. Are you really one of the roles you play everyday? I know people who have been crushed by the loss of a job or a spouse because their whole identity was wrapped up in that job or person. There sense of self was all about some external factor and their life seemed over when this association was broken. Carrying around some false sense of ego and self only limits your happiness and separates us as human beings. You are not what you do for a living, you are not a political party affiliation, you are not where your ancestors came from, and you are not a culmination of all the roles you play each day.

Fruits of selflessness

I was reading the Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield this morning and there was a quote by Dipama Barua “In my mind there are only three things: loving kindness, concentration, and peace”. These are the fruits of selflessness, not of someone burdened by the self. As you approach each day think about the times your behavior and thoughts are tied to this sense of self. Does this false sense of self result in happiness?

A role is a role not you

As someone who has lived too many years thinking that my sense of self is what I did for a living; I’ve begun to realize I was terribly wrong. The more you can separate the roles you must play from who you really are, the more joy and openness will permeate your life. Being selfless doesn’t mean you don’t have a sense of your own value as a human being, but it does mean you can now focus on thinking for yourself and you can be more open to valuing others.

Namaste