Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ego is the Enemy

The book “Ego is the Enemy”, by Ryan Holiday, was motivated by the author’s personal experiences of fantastic wealth at an early age and subsequent loss of his wealth and marriage which he blamed on his big ego.

The content of the book is inspiring with lots of stories of how big egos have caused people great pain and their downfall. Many of the stories I had never heard before, for instance after being president of the U.S., General Grant sunk all his money in a Ponzi scheme and ended up poverty stricken in his retirement.  The book also has stories of humble people who have greatly improved the world and had happy lives by not letting their ego lead them to poor choices in their lives.

One of my disappointments with the  book was that the author didn’t reveal much about his personal experiences of having a big ego, how it felt for him, or what he learned. Many of the stories seem like they are what the author tells himself repeatedly to keep his own ego from getting out of control. The stories are told in a detached way and are mostly about  public figures rather than individuals he knew.  So there is nothing about what was going on in their minds or a close personal view. Interestingly, most of the stories in the book are about men.

In spite of these issues, I still found the book enjoyable to read and it helped me to recognize my ego better and be aware of the risks of letting my ego get out of control. It actually helped me be less stressed when my plans do not work out. I recommend it, especially for guys.


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