Some time ago when I found out about Ryan Holiday, I was deeply impressed by how much this person reads. In his blog (Meditations for Strategy and Life), he shares what he reads, what he learns, out of books and out of life. He’s a very young writer and media strategist who has a striking “résumé”and the more I know about his work, the more impressed I am.
Ego is the Enemy is his latest book and when I finished it, far from being satisfied about my reading, I got this uncomfortable feeling that I have tripled my list of to-be-read, and especially I had tripled (to say the least) my to-be-learned and applied for life.
Holiday takes ego and explores deep down into its nature in its consequences for own personal development. This “unhealthy belief in our own importance” as he defines it, “is the enemy of what you want and what you have: of mastering a craft. Of real creative insight. Of working well with others. Of building loyalty and support.” The book analyzes features of humble leaders who are great role models (many times underrated ones.) It also has plenty of examples from extremely talented people who have succumbed to the cloudy waters of their own success.
The author claims that most of the time in our lives we are –in relation to our goals and personal growth–in one of these three phases: aspiring, succeeding or failing. Those are the three parts in which he organizes this enlightening, truthful work. And he says “with wisdom, we understand that these positions are transitory, not statements about your value as a human being.”
To be honest, I wanted to share many ideas from Holiday’s superb work, but I couldn’t decide which excerpts from the dozens I took were the best ones. You might guess why. Because every one of his words and ideas are worth sharing. So, I decided to pick one that struck me because it was capable of depicting a powerful image on my mind about the concept of ego.
“Greatness comes from humble beginnings, it comes from grunt work. It means you are the least important person in the room–until you change that with results.”
I truly wish you insightful readings and connections!
Here are some to get started:
do I have to throw my ego away to find my Self is a painting by Tanni Koens. I saw it in Fine Art America and I really liked it.
Here’s Ryan Holiday’s site.
Here’s Ryan himself explaining his book in a visual video.
I’d love to hear about your connections.