Our worst Enemy is what we Embrace most – Ego & how to nab it!

Most of us confuse ego as our pride or self-esteem and therefore, miserably fail to comprehend the damage ego inflicts on us! One would be amazed to note that this is more rampant in developed societies and countries!!

I have encountered enumerable times the paradox that this very ego of people prevent them even to understand real difference between their pride and ego. Let us clear this difference first.

Ego is not what Pride or Self- esteem is!

  • Pride is feeling good about Self; Ego is feeling good in comparison to others.
  • Pride makes you humble; Ego makes you harsh.
  • Pride brings confidence; Ego gets you arrogance.
  • Pride galvanizes you to be composed; Ego excites you to be controversial.
  • Pride prompts you to give credit and praises to others; Ego encourages you to take credit and self praises.
  • Pride inspires you serve others; Ego entices you to serve self.
  • Pride motivates you to be a good listener; Ego imposes your will on others to listen to you.
  • Pride promotes inquisitiveness to learn from others; Ego instigates you to expect others to learn from you.

From above, it becomes very clear that pride or self-esteem is all about feel happy /satisfied for self, own qualities and accomplishments with no recourse to others. On other hand, all attributes in Ego are about feel good in relation to others.

So, first drop your ego for a while, if you want to understand what follows now!

Ego – a malady

Judge for yourself, what kind of leader would you be if:

  • You are more interested to hear your own voice and do not encourage your people to speak.
  • You impose your ideas and do not encourage others to share theirs.
  • You relish being respected; but reluctant to respect others or their sentiments.
  • You like to enforce your likes and dislikes, instead of giving freedom to others to choose what they like.
  • You have fractured empathy for your employees.
  • You show your inclination to know others’ problems; with no intention to help.

Look at what kind of team spirit would you have, if:

  • You have own agenda to follow.
  • You resist consensus, if it is contrary to your wishes.
  • You want to swim, regardless others would sink.
  • You are argumentative on what you think is right.
  • You don’t want to compromise in case of conflicts.

What a spouse would you be, if:

  • You want to be always pampered and served.
  • You can find flaws in your partner; but get furious, if yours are picked.
  • Your taste matters more.
  • Your wishes should reign supreme.
  • You can spend; but your spouse should save.

These are only few examples and each one of these emanates from your Ego. “Egoists or Egotists” far outnumber “People with Pride”. Ego is a very common malady with successful bosses, artists, scientists, authors, celebrities etc.

Fine dividing line between Ego and Pride

When it comes to self as opposed to others, you would have 2 set of thoughts – “what you are” say in respect of your strengths, status personality and beauty and “what other/s are” in respect to same attributes. Your mind faces 2 options – respect/accept or react for “what other/s are”. Please note that all these come up at the same time and same space of mind.

If you have pride, you would automatically go for “respect/accept”; on other hand, if you have ego, you would react instantly. Conversely, if you respect/accept, it would attract your pride; whereas your reaction would make you egoist!

The way above “thoughts occur in same space of your mind and one option is selected over the other in flick of a second” makes the dividing line between pride and ego very fine. This creates 3 scenarios:

  1. People, who would most of time, tend to respect.
    Such people would have high self-esteem and enjoy virtues of having pride of what they are.
  2. People, who would most of time, are tempted to react.
    This category of people would suffer from vices of their Ego, not accept that they have any deficiency and refuse to own their mistakes!
  3. People, who would swing between respect/accept and reaction.
    This category is most predominant everywhere. They have false notion that they have no ego and hence, defend themselves vigorously.

Category 2 may improve, since it is bound to get jolts and may take a U-turn or else it would junk itself in time to come.

But, category 3 has little chance to improve, because it lives in illusion that they do not have any problem or ego! This is what you can easily figure out in your own company or family or community!! One real life example – I have observed on more than one occasion that pride and resulting congenial behavior of my colleague was held against him by his supervisors and they persistently refused to understand, since their minds were shut. They would talk about change and improvements, which was just hogwash!

To nab your Ego, you have power; practice it!

  • You are entangled with everyone around you, whether you like or dislike, they are good or bad!
  • “What you are” has lot to do with the “Way others are”. So, it is futile to ignore Role and Relevance of others in your life.
  • Therefore, only right thing is to accept/respect the way others are.
    One may argue that if others are not good, you have duty to do something to improve them. Yes; but your first duty is to accept as they are and then do what would help them, without creating hurt or hate, without any intention to impose yourself or get into visibility and benefit from same.
  • Only when you have stand-alone belief on self and happily respect/accept what others are, that you nab your biggest enemy – Ego!!


18 responses to “Our worst Enemy is what we Embrace most – Ego & how to nab it!”

  1. Maria Avatar

    wow, very nice post Sir, very logical, and yes if we implement this in every situation, it would make ours and everyone around us lives better and happier 🙂 i always like the way you put things in a logical way.. thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Murli Avatar

      I am very thankful to you for your very encouraging views and feedback! It also demonstrate your skill for keen observations!!

  2. Madhav Kasture Avatar
    Madhav Kasture

    Great article Mr. Lohia. It will be useful to every global professional. Thank You. Madhav

    1. Murli Avatar

      Thank you very much for your encouraging feedback! I appreciate your views!!

  3. Mehul Menghar Avatar
    Mehul Menghar

    Really very useful advice from Murli Sir………This problem is bigger …..challenge of today’s culter…..compare with others……it starts from the school ………. I feel we have to really work towards improvement from what we are.

    Sir, I found one other category …In that a person who superimposed by their professional life role what they are doing ……In this case they always see that you give importance to them or not. If not then they deal with you differently.

    Thank you very much Sir ….to share your main “Mantra’s ” as a good leader and a good human being in society with always smile in any condition in front of him.

    1. Murli Avatar

      I highly appreciate your valuable views! It is true that Ego problem is very big in today’s time; but people can tackle it, if they have will.

      As regards another category, such people who demand importance, rather than earning it, do so out of their big ego. Don’t you think that they fall in 2nd category?

  4. Pankaj Avatar

    Good point about the fine dividing line between ego and pride! In Sanskrit two words with the same root have vastly difference meanings, namely aham and ahankar.

    1. Murli Avatar

      Excellent! Thanks a lot for your observation!

  5. Murli Avatar

    Transferred from LinkedIn

    Monica Sharma has sent you a message.
    Date: 12/02/2012
    Subject: RE: Our worst Enemy is what we Embrace most – Ego & how to nab it!

    so true and in the face

  6. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    Your precise and concise comment says it all! Thanks a lot!!

  7. Ajay Koul Avatar
    Ajay Koul

    It points to human limitation that surfaces as a result of some accomplishment & growth. A way to surmount this barrier and melt it away is to cultivate Self Awareness. One of the techniques for that is Meditation (I mean w/o any religious connotation).

    1. Murli Avatar

      Very true! Thanks a lot for your illustrious comments and suggestion.

      Meditation has lot of virtues. But, in our modern times, most talk of it often; but takes a back seat when it comes to doing it. Meditation can bring great changes! Goes with it in any case, is accepting or respecting what others are.

  8. Shreya Avatar

    Thank you Sir for Sharing these amazing true Facts !!!!

    1. Murli Avatar

      I feel very thankful to you for your valuable feedback!

  9. Rudra Avatar

    But isn’t like Ego comes involuntarily along with Pride? Or is it utterly avoidable? I think people are more concerned if they drop their Ego, they may find themselves dropped-out of Pride too. May be half a %age of Ego is obligatory??

    But anyway the “Ego – a malady” section is very well delineated. Nobody would want to be a human-being like that for sure.

    Nevertheless, the last 4 points will irrefutably help people and me in nabbing our egos (if, any) using our eventual “power” – hope so!! 🙂

    1. Murli Avatar

      No; Ego does not come involuntarily with Pride. As explained in the post, 2 thoughts – accept/respect and react come in everyone’s mind in same space and time. You take former, you get pride or take latter, you get ego. Ego is not obligatory. People’s concern pride getting dropped, if they drop ego is a false mind set. Heaven will not fall on earth, if one keeps ego as well pride; he/she would be befallen with problems also and in category 3!!

      I am very thankful for your comments!

  10. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    Transferred from LinkedIn

    Sachin Rasane has sent you a message.
    Date: 12/03/2012
    Subject: RE: Our worst Enemy is what we Embrace most – Ego & how to nab it!

    Thank you Sir!!…. very useful info!!

    Hope you recognised me. I worked with ECCC in Proposal group with Mr. Ajit Chigteri. Youu appreciated my my efforts on Training program on “P&ID Awareness”.

    Later I joined GE at Italy and Worley Parsons at Kazakhstan. Presently I’m conducting Workshops on Oil and Gas-I&C topics. Recently I have conducted the same for Petronas, KPOC and Murphy Oil at KL, Malaysia.

    Let me know your contact details. I would like to share my work with you.

    Thanks you once again.

    Best Regards
    Sachin Rasane
    +91 9422359938

    1. Murli Avatar

      Thanks a lot for your feedback. Very pleased to know your activities and success! I have given you my contact details by a separate mail.

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