Ego has a negative connotation.
But, when we study philosophy, ego is really just the encapsulation of the self. The aspect of our personalities that can remember, evaluate, and respond.
In colloquial terms, when someone has ego their notion of the self is high.
Some might say I have ego.
It’s difficult to self-reflect and view yourself objectively. To do it, one must step out of their ego. This is quite interesting. I need to detach from my ego to realize I have one; to realize its strength and hold over me.
So, what to do from here.
I want to minimize my ego, so I’ll prove to myself why it’s worth it.
I’ll start by listing out some of the aspects of my life I feel it controls.
If I value your opinion, then we’ve surely had a disagreement. This is the biggest aspect of my ego I want to minimize. I see absolutely no value in being right, and yet, my ego blinds my judgment and encourages me to engage in argument.
I assigned value to being right, so my ego would necessarily look for opportunities to solidify this value.
I’ve shifted how I value myself.
Being right is useless.
Being skillful and offering the world my craft is far more valuable.
The inability to consider others is a direct byproduct of ego. Ego has this interesting property that the consequences of actions on others takes less priority than the effects on me.
I believe this makes sense. If everyone thought about only everyone else, we wouldn’t survive as a humanity. We need to be selfish to a certain extent.
It’s built into our genetic code, after all.
Each of us hold different notions of the self. I think it’s a spectrum, and it’s worth moving to the middle. There may be a time when I’m parent, or a husband, and I’d surely like to raise the priorities of those around me.
I think pride is a double-edged sword. Pride is the action of inflating your ego.
I pride myself on being independent.
I like to feel that I don’t need anyone and will act to ensure that. If I feel I’m getting too close or creating dependence on anyone, I’ll close off. This may be a result of ego and the desire to feel complete on my own.
Pride can also positive. I pride myself on showing up to early 5AM sprints. I pride myself on eating healthy and making sure I’m supporting my family in the best way I can.
I set a high bar of integrity for myself.
I assign value to acting with integrity – value that inflates my ego. I respect how I think of myself. I’m not sure if this is positive, but I like to think being of high integrity is good.
Being aware of the egocentric mind means I can throw shaders on the rest of the world. I live in my own little bubble and in turn I’m less absorbed by what’s going on.
I can minimize myself.
I can minimize my connection to the world so that if someone goes, it doesn’t effect me. More importantly, if I go, it won’t effect anyone.
I’ve listed out some of the aspects of my life that are dominated by ego. As I’ve learned, there are some positive aspects to ego and it is necessary for survival.
I’m making myself aware of my ego, which is the most important aspect.
With this awareness, I’ll choose when to kick it in.
Sure, I’ll continue to pride myself on maintaining integrity, and showing up to those grueling sprints. Maybe not so much when I’m making a decision and others are involved.
I think an important insight is that I don’t matter as much as I once thought I did.
It’s empowering to know this, not saddening.
Growing up in a small, loving household, I’ve learned that I’m important to 4 people.
If my bubble is limited to this space, then sure, I’m of high value.
But, the truth is, I’m a spec of dust in our world.
This is great news. Once we are made aware of how small we are, we can play the part.