Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday is the third book in my Book a Week Challenge. I must admit that I didn’t find this an easy read. Street Smarts was a page turner. Ego is the Enemy less so.
That’s not to say that it’s not got an important message. It does. And it’s a message that you can apply to your own life.
Don’t let your Ego get in the way of proper progress
I’ve been playing golf for since I was 13. That’s more than 20 years ago. I’m still a pretty poor player knocking around a 24 handicap.
You’d think that in 20 years I might have improved. Even one shot better a year would have meant I’d be a single figure golfer by now.
So why haven’t I improved. Holiday would say that my Ego has prevented me from improving. I think I’m good enough. Or I think I’ll get better with a little swing thought or a quick hack.
Instead I should accept the reality: that I’m an average golfer who’s not going to get better on my current trajectory.
At the moment, my Ego is in the way of my progress.
If I want to get better, I should find a good teacher and diligently work on what they tell me to do. For as long as it takes to get better. Rinse and repeat.
Don’t let a little success get in the way of further success
I think I’m a reasonable cook. I know basic techniques and I believe that I have good taste.
This is enough for my Ego to think that I’m a good cook and that I don’t need to learn any more.
Will I go on to learn how to bake? How to make fresh pasta? To learn how to make sushi?
Not at the moment. Because I’ve had a little success and my Ego already thinks it’s a Michelin starred chef.
Always be the student, never the master
If you think you know it all, then you’ve already lost.
Almost everyone wants to become a millionaire.
Why is it that most people don’t make it?
Everyone thinks they know what it takes to be a millionaire.
Their Ego has got in the way. They’ll tell you about property, about some hot shares tip, about Bitcoin.
Anything except being a serious student dedicated to a defined goal.
If you want to become a millionaire, go and find a millionaire and listen to and implement what they advise you to do.
If you want to become a scratch golfer, go and find a top golf instructor and rebuild your game from the ground up. Change your grip, work on your posture, practise diligently until this becomes second nature.
If you want to be a great writer, learn the whole craft. Write and get your writing critiqued. Feedback. Feedback and more feedback. Remember, you’re the student.
Buy Ego is the Enemy here.
Check out Ryan Holiday’s website here.