Book Review: Ego is the Enemy

Authored by By Ryan Holiday Ryan holiday achieved extra ordinary success early in his life, he became a director of marketing at an American apparel shop and an author of 4 bestselling books at the age of 29 years. In his book, Ego is the enemy, he shares a study of individuals who were great yet humble, grounded and real, people who knew how to suppress, channel and subsume their ego where it counted. He also gives a study on individuals who had costly
lessons learnt as the price they paid in misery and self-destruction. With his success, he got to experience and witness disruptions of unchecked ego. He defines ego as unhealthy belief in our importance and a threat to longterm success. He put on his arm a tattoo that read, ego is the enemy as a constant reminder that he had to conduct himself with modesty and meekness. When you have ambitions, talent, and drive or potential to fullfill, ego comes with the territories, ego

is the enemy of what you want and of what you have. In mastering a craft you need to replace ego with humility and reality. Ryan Holiday describes the phases of life when ego shows up. These phases come when aspiring, during success and after failure. When we aspire to do something great, ego gets busy seeking constant approval from others. For us to defeat ego we need to find our equals among our peer groups or ambitious persons at our current competence levels. When we achieve something great our ego leads us to believe that all our future endeavors are likely to be successful too. Instead of focusing on building upon our previous success we have a tendency of being over confident in our ability to take in too much. We need to have someone better than us so as to remain humble and focused on our goal. Humility comes by remembering there is always something bigger than us or someone who has achieved much
more. We experience ego when we fail or have a setback, we tend to dodge responsibility and lose sight of what we worked for, and ego destructs us from focus. Teach your juniors skills and experiences that will build them allround. We should look objectively at our failures and get the lessons to pass down. When we have responsibilities, we spend less time complaining and we look for a way to mentor or teach someone. We should end addiction to approval seeking, a lifelong learning. Humble your ego because you haven’t reached your growth potential. Accept criticism, grow others, aim at doing something and not being somebody, have a purpose and fight to remain different. Be so good that you cannot be ignored, stay true to your path.

Review by Effie Odhiambo

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