Hey guys, what’s up?
This is week four, book four and this week’s book is Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.
Now, if you haven’t read this book, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s jam-packed with so much information, you probably need to read it multiple times. Now, it’s only short so you can definitely do that, but it has so much in it and it’s a real good way of reflecting on yourself, who you are, and what you’re trying to get out of life.
It’s a bit hard to take one key takeaway from this book, but I guess for me right now in my life the one takeaway I learned, well I got out of this book is that you should always be a student.
I guess that’s a lot to do with that old saying about, “the more you know the more you realize you don’t know.”
That idea is so powerful because for me knowledge and understanding of both ideas and philosophy is so important, but also I think what I got a lot out of this book was understanding people and emotions and that emotional intelligence and to always be learning about yourself and what it is that you need, what it is that you do that isn’t as good as it could be, know how you interact with people, how you ask questions, how you interact in arguments, how you treat other people, all of those things.
Always learning about that stuff makes you a much better person.
I know personally for me, ego has been a massive factor in my life. You know, I’m a typical white, straight male, the world has been my oyster, and I’ve treated it that way for most part of my life. I’ve been able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, who cares about consequences and that has taken me to some dark places in my life and I think as I’ve grown and developed I’ve realized that I need to keep myself in check.
That I’m not some indestructible superman who can do whatever I want. There are consequences to the actions that you do.
You need to be teaching yourself these lessons over and over again that you can’t think just because you’ve learned it once that you’ve got it or that you’ve scratched the surface of it you’ve got this tiny little sliver of information that you’re a pro. You need to constantly be teaching yourself this stuff.
There are a few lessons in there that I guess I learned that I’m gonna take with me as I move forward and some of them were the following:
To have three coaches in life;
You want someone better than you to learn from,
You want someone that isn’t as good as you to teach,
and You want someone equal with you to challenge you.
I think that is a very simple but smart way of self-development and how to progress your ideas and progress your knowledge.
With that idea that learning every day to be a better person, to be more intelligent, to be more successful, as you understand that that is such a big part of life and success, you also start to realize that your real competition in life, the only person you should be competing against is you, yesterday.
That’s it, that’s the measure.
I don’t need to be better than anyone else. I just need to be better than I was yesterday.
If I’m always able to say at the end of the day that I’m a little bit better than I was yesterday, then I’ve done it, then I’m it. I’ve had a successful day.
I think I’ve known this for a little while now, but this book helped bring it home again and again and made it fresh in my mind that I always need to be challenging myself. I always need to be pushing on what I did yesterday.
I tell this to my team a lot that, once we’ve got to the pinnacle of our game we need to change our game, we need to get better than what we did the day before. In six months from now we need to be able to look back and say, man, we have done so much since then, look how far we’ve come.
There’s this good line in talk by Simon Sinek, I want to read it because I have this on my phone and I always read this and I think it’s fantastic. It’s about business but you can use this in any aspect of your life really, if you just sort of change the words around.
It’s a few questions that people can ask you and what your answers are.
Q: So who’s your competition?
A: No idea.
Q: Why are you better than your competition?
A: We aren’t better than them in all cases.
Q: Why should I do business with you?
A: Because the work we are doing is better than the work we were doing six months ago. And the work we will be doing six months from now will be better than today. Because we wake up every day with a sense of why we come to work. We come to work to inspire people to do things that inspire them.
Q: Are we better than our competition?
A: If you believe what we believe and you believe the things we can do can help you, then yes, we are better. If you don’t believe what we believe and if you don’t believe the things we can do can help you then no, we are not better. Our goal is to find customers who believe what we believe and work together so that we can all succeed. We are looking for people to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in pursuit of the same goal. We aren’t interested in sitting across the table from each other in pursuit of a sweeter deal.
So yeah, I keep that in my phone all the time and I always read it because it makes me think,
What have we done?
Where are we in my workplace?
Where am I in life?
Have I done more than what I used to be doing?
Am I improving every day?
Am I in a better place?
It’s the reason I took photos during my transition of no alcohol and as you move forward and you’re able to look back where you’ve come from, that growth and that satisfaction of that development drives you even further. A lot of people fail to do that part. They fail to look backwards. They develop and they grow and they grow and they get all this way and they become so much better people but they forget where they come from so when they look at themselves in the mirror they don’t see any change they just see the same person they’ve been looking at every day.
They then get disheartened with everything they’ve done they haven’t made any change or they haven’t grown, and that’s a huge shame because you’ve just done all this work and all this development and you’ve forgotten where you’ve come from.
So make sure you record yourself, you take photos, you write in a diary, you do whatever it needs to do so you remember where you were, so when you look back you understand how much you’ve grown.
I think that’s so important and I think my key takeaway from Ego is the Enemy is to always be learning, always be improving on yesterday.
Please let me know down in the comments what your key takeaway was.
Was it something similar?
I’d love to have a chat with you about it in the comments. Please hit me up there.
Otherwise, I’ll see you next week.