Every time my wife corrects my driving I get angry.
I get angry because I feel that she’s questioning my driving ability. “I drive every day of my life” I respond to her. But here’s the thing. What she’s doing isn’t wrong. She’s looking out for us, making sure we don’t get hurt. It’s natural, especially when our two-year-old is in the back of the car. What’s causing the frustration is my ego.
My ego is what’s creating the big SIGH after she says, “there’s a car coming, wait”.
Ryan Holiday in his book ‘Ego Is The Enemy’ states that “Ego crosses out what matters and replaces it with what doesn’t”. That’s so true. Think about any sports match, business issues or personal relationship. Ego takes centre stage, it hides what’s important and brings to the foreground what doesn’t matter at all. Think about my wife (not in that way); she’s concerned about safety. My ego is concerned with my self-worth. What’s more important, the safety of our family or my self-image?
Think about areas in your life, both personal and professional where your ego is hindering you. Reflect on the times in the past where your ego has gotten the better of you and think about how much that matters now? Not much right? That’s what ego does. It puffs itself up at the moment but has no value in the future.
“Ryan Holiday also says; “One might say that the ability to evaluate one’s ability is the most important skill of all”. How critical the capacity to take a step back, evaluate your actions, realise you’re being a real royal prat and apologise. I believe being a successful human has a lot to do with self-evaluation. The ability to recognise the blind spots in your life.
Now, let me be honest. Mastering ego is the most difficult task of all. I’m nowhere near qualified to talk on this topic. But I do believe it’s a good start to be able to recognise the short falls in one’s own life. I think it’s critical to have people present in your life who can point out your blind spots. It’s not always easy at the moment to respond maturely, but at least being aware of it is a start.
Start managing your ego better today.