I owe a lot to my ego and pride. Some say that on a spiritual path one should become free of these traits. I have no plans on living on a mountain somewhere surrounded by nature so I don’t see the point.
While I’ve chosen to live this kind of life, my ego and pride are assets.
Were it not for them, I would’ve given up on life a long time ago as any number of the tough situations I’ve faced in life, had the potential of knocking me on my ass for good.
Simple; my pride didn’t allow me to quit. The thought of telling people I’d given up or, even admitting to myself that I’d quit kept me going. The shame had power!
The shame and pride kept me going more than anything else, especially in those times of desperation. I believe that often it’s the only thing we have during those moments; it’s the easiest feeling to reach for.
I’ve heard religious monks and scholars talk about the need to let go of pride and ego but not everyone needs to live by that edict.
Sure, if you want to become one with nature and be away from materialistic things then go ahead, take the path of becoming ego free.
However, if your path is one where you want a business, money, the means to travel then I very much doubt you’ll get anywhere without your pride and ego.
The Ego Scale
Pride and ego are quintessential to success. I don’t think you will get to be successful and achieve your goals unless your ego and pride are in the right place.
Imagine a scale, to the left side is absolute arrogance, on the right is absolute insecurity. The middle represents being ego free.
I’ve discovered that in order to succeed, to be a winner, there is a very specific place on the scale that you need to be at.
That place is not in the middle, but about about a third of the way towards the arrogance side of the scale.
By aiming for that side you won’t become an egoistic maniac, in fact, you’ll have the perfect temperament to succeed. The desire to succeed and win is born of ego and to make sure it happens you need the power of your pride
The Pride Point
I call that specific point on the scale the pride point. It’s where I haven’t quite hit arrogance yet I’m feeling confident enough to let people know I’m feeling confident.
If I want to win at playing poker, I need to be at that specific point on the scale. If I end up feeling too arrogant and believing blindly that I’m going to win the hand, more often than not, I’ll get trumped.
If I want to win at playing badminton, I need to be at that point on the scale, if I end up feeling inadequate just because I’m playing better players, my level drops and I always lose.
It’s actually an amazing feeling when you hit the right point on the scale. You almost begin to feel unstoppable yet you know you could get beaten. I’ve experienced that feeling lots of times when I’ve played poker with my friends and when I’m in that zone, I always win.
When I’m in that place, I still feel vulnerable to defeat, yet I’m not concerned by it. I know I could lose the hand but I’m certain that by taking the risk, I’m doing absolutely the right thing.
Your don’t need to relinquish your ego. It’s there to prevent you from giving up. It’s there to help you win and succeed in all the pursuits you do.