I just finished Ryan Holiday’s “Ego is the Enemy”. First off, fantastic piece of work. From what I gather, Ryan seems to be a voracious reader of biographies. (Side note, if you love biographies but don’t have the time to read them, you could get the minor summary on like 20 different people just by reading this book). Many of these biographies play a major part in shaping this book. By looking at the stories of mostly past famous (and not so famous) leaders and dignitaries, Ryan is able to bring an impressive amount of evidence to the table. Particularly as to what has driven these people, and, when it is their ego, what it has done to them as a result.
Going into this book, I already felt like I had a decent idea of my struggle with ego. I knew it was there and influencing me, I just wasn’t sure where all at. This book practically wrecked me though, it feels like my ego is everywhere. Don’t let that hold you back from reading though, all of his arguments are brought in a very non-condemning manor. Ryan never makes you feel like a crappy person for being just that, a person. By going through summaries of several major world leaders, Ryan lays his case and the evidence is clear, ego is the enemy.
It’s only been hours since I’ve read the book but I’m already trying to use it to change my behavior. Granted, this may not last for long, but I’m trying to get curious as to what is ultimately motivating me in various situations.
There’s also many points brought up about the side effects of ego, things that I never even thought could be egotistical. At one point he hints that people who jump from project to project without committing could be falling victim to their ego. If the immediate satisfaction of success doesn’t set in, well then it’s not going to help prop them up in other’s esteem of them. I never thought about it like that, I’ve been prone very often to jump around projects in my spare time and just thought it was impatience or lack of drive. At least that’s what all the blogs, books and TED talks seem to say. What if it’s something much deeper and hidden though? What if the root problem isn’t lack of perseverance but rather allowing one’s ego to persevere?
Finding true joy in our work can only be done by not being consumed with the results, but rather with enjoying the journey. Unfortunately, Ryan stops short of giving extensive plans on battling ego, but that’s OK. He has made his point and that is the start. I highly recommend checking this book out, keep your mind open, and then journal like a fiend. Take care friends!
Buy the book now on Amazon!