How many would say they are not aware of what the ego is?
Whether on a seemingly long sojourn to success, at the height of it or even at rock bottom, every man has experienced the many facets of their ego. He has seen his true colours.
Some may continue along the line of the supposed reign of ego until it brings them down. While some others may stare ego in the face, call it to order, tame it, exercise control over it, subdue it until they succeed at whatever level of life they find themselves.
‘Ego is the enemy' by Ryan Holiday is one of the simplest books I have read on the subject.
While I would have preferred the book to contain more depth, theories and element of ego within the context of psychology as we are aware that the concept of ego is complex, I appreciate the simplicity of the book because it focuses more on day-to-day experience with ego.
The book is direct and straight to the point. However, it should not be mistaken, as simple as it is, it is also profound.
Holiday uses quotations from some great minds, case studies of different historic and recent figures such as prominent politicians, ex-military personnel, entrepreneurs, successful athletes, coaches and artists, to exemplify how ego can be the enemy at different stages of life.
The aim of the book and how it is structured is intended to, "help you suppress ego early before bad habits take hold, to replace the temptations of ego with humility and discipline when we experience success, and to cultivate strength and fortitude so that when fate turns against you, you're not wrecked by failure."
The book I believe takes one on a journey back to times when one's value system is important. A time where why you did what you did matter. A time where character ruled and superseded over charisma. A time when effort, hard work, discipline, purpose, responsibility mattered over outcomes, money, fame, my wants, my needs, and my position within the social construct.
‘Ego is the enemy' is a book that will help anyone willing to sit face to face with their ego and put a lot of things into perspective.
It doesn't matter who you are. An "ordinary" person, a business executive, a creative, an entrepreneur, this book is for you. It's for me. It's for us. It's for us all.
I believe anyone in the place of leadership or, aspiring to the position of leadership, which includes simply the management and taking leadership over one's life, would benefit from this book.
Holiday presents a guide in the form of a book into success, sustaining that success, managing failure, and generally just learning to manoeuvre through life no matter what stage of the process you find yourself.
According to Holiday, everyone is in either of these three stages of life:
- Aspire - Where you desire success and are working towards it.
- Success - Where you attained success and are building on that success.
- Failure - Where you are currently experiencing or have experienced setbacks.
As Holiday carefully presented through the use of real-life case studies, he demonstrated how ego led some leading figures to making bad choices, and ultimately to their demises. He uses contrast figures to exemplify how suppressing ego and taking control of ego can lead to success and achieving great results, even if not in all cases they acclaimed fame – another example of how these great men and women surmounted their egos.
In ‘Ego is the enemy', I believe you will receive insights, ideas, notions, examples, principles you can put into practice with immediate effect.
As you read the book, you can easily see and identify how ego plays out in different areas of your life, not just limited to your business and processes, but also in your personal relationships, how you handle specific setbacks and how you observe specific opportunities or lack thereof.
I love this book because it aids for great self-examination. It is relatable and commands for needful action to be taken to circumvent any adverse outcomes ego may propose or present at whatever stage or level one may find themselves.
Some suggestions made by Holiday to mortify the ego:
- Become a student and stay a student
- Let purpose drive you
- Know what's important to you
- Manage yourself
- Beware of the disease of me
- Meditate on the immensity of the universe – you are a small part of a bigger one.
- When you experience a setback, do not immense in pity, but instead hold on to purpose, be poise and patient.
- Turn dead times to alive times
- Maintain your character
- Always love
- Be effort focused not outcome orientated
- Change your definition of success
I believe this book will aid anyone who read it to put their lives, their business, their positions, their actions, decisions in relationships and any other areas into perspective. It will undoubtedly motivate and challenge anyone. If it does nothing else, it will cause you to reflect and examine yourself. However, I am confident it will also cause you to take action and make necessary adjustments.
It will help you to be, "humble in your aspirations, gracious in your success and resilient in your failures".
About The Author...
Abi Opall is a wife, a mother of two and a lifestyle blogger & podcaster at abiscope.com. An avid writer, book lover, and motivator, based in the U.K. She is passionate about supporting people to reach their full potential.