As an adult, I’ve come to learn the quickest way to insult, enrage, or quickly lose friends and make enemies, is to challenge someone’s ego. Challenge the perception of what that person believes themself to be.  This doesn’t even need to be done on purpose, it can even be done on accident and the effect is the same. The ironic thing is our egos are rarely, if ever accurate. What we think of ourselves is often not even close to reality. Need proof? Try and record yourself talking for 30 seconds, it’s NOT going to sound like what you think you sound like. You probably will hate it and that might make you a little irritated. The juxtaposition of ego and reality is never pleasant.

We create our egos because we as humans inherently long to be something. We WANT to be good at things, we WANT to be good people, we WANT to be smart, funny, charming, good looking, athletic, great singers, all these things we want. And if our ego is untouched, unchallenged, we can be those things.

But the moment someone shines a light on your ego, shows you how far it is from reality, that your are not that ripped athlete, or genius prodigy, super entrepreneur, genius marketer, or super model, and instead you’re the equivalent of that troll from Ernest Scared Stupid (seriously, that movie was the scariest thing i watched when I was 9) when compared to what you wanted to be, we get mad, upset, or hurt. We feel these things because our egos represent what we truly want to be and seeing that we are not what we thought we were is crushing.

Nothing hurts more than seeing the disparity between your ego and reality.

I know this is fact. So I try my hardest to keep my ego in check. I know am a D+ entrepreneur (at best). I had 6 businesses fail prior to Ukulele Underground. I’m not great at playing guitar, I don’t even know my scales. My voice is annoying (speaking and singing). I have very little patience. I’m often rude because of my terseness. I’m often really rude because if I find people uninteresting I cannot fake being interested. I’m not a people person. I have issues with my mother. I got shitty grades in college not only because I drank and partied a lot, but because I probably am not very smart as well. I suck at tennis. I suck at pretty much every video game I’ve ever played. In fact, I suck at pretty much everything I enjoy. As well as UU is doing, there are a ton of companies that are doing way better and they’re run by way smarter people. I’ve made a ton of bad deals. I’ve lost lots of money trying to make more money. I’ve made a ton of mistakes in the past. I’m embarrassed by many of my past actions.

I can go on and on with what I suck at and what is wrong with me, there are a few things I think I am ok at, but I’m not really great at anything. In fact, I’d be lucky to qualify as mediocre at anything. And thats OK. By definition we all can’t be extraordinary.

I asked my wife tonight what she thought of my hypothesis that the reason I have anxiety these days is because I’m not as delusional with my ego as I used to be. Maybe ego is necessary to deflect the harshness of reality and a more realistic ego is not healthy. Maybe I should pump my ego back up because I seem to get just as mad when I interact with people who can’t acknowledge their own egos. Who knows. All I’m hoping is that maybe if I can get my ego totally inline with reality one day, that I can finally cast it off  and be totally free of its burden. The burden of this imaginary thing that I created. Think about that,  the only one who agrees 100% with your egos is you.

In the end, our egos die with us, we’re remembered by our actions not what we thought we were.

I hope I don’t come off as depressed or anything in this post because I’m really not. I’m still laughing that I remembered Ernest Scared Stupid. This is just some random ramblings that was going on in my brain after a rough day. As mediocre as I am, I know that I got lucky and what I have going in my life right now is pretty amazing. Perhaps I should think about that more than ego, but  ego probably wouldn’t like it.

3 thoughts on “Ego”

  1. Hey brother, been a while. Thanks for sharing whats real for you. For me, Ego = False concepts of self. I’m hearing in your post how you are trading one false concept for another. Trading an Inflated inaccurate image for a deflated inaccurate image(I tend towards the deflated though I am awesome at it, hehehe). For me, The authentic self is not a concept, which is very problematic for the egoic mind. The authentic self is a creative being, exploring what it means to be alive. Our thoughts about who we are ultimately become the house our beingness experiences and can also be where our authenticity is lost. Thanks again for sharing, and thanks for allowing me to share. Ahui hou. Allen

  2. No need to be so hard on yourself, Ryan. Keeping ones ego in check does not require bashing ones talents or pointing out ones short comings. Just being humble usually does that.

    You are not arrogant or boastful. You are humble and modest in everything I have observed.

    Be patient with yourself. Many of the things you felt you lacked about, come with age. Children teach us a lot and with age, patience and tolerance are acquired.

    You are a fine young man with a very bright future. You are a good person with a good heart and you truly care about people. You wouldn’t be associated with UU if you didn’t.

    As a side note, I have many Asian friends. It seems to me something in their up bringing tends to make them hard on themselves. Their parents never being satisfied with their accomplishment no matter what they achieve appears to have a lot to do with it. I don’t know if this applies to you, but perhaps it’s something in the culture and a possibility.

    My philosophy with my kids….above all else be good to each other. Find what you love, whether its becoming a doctor, working in an office or digging ditches and figure out a way to make a living at it. Then be the best you can be at it. And have fun doing it, whatever it is. And never be afraid to reinvent yourself. If you fail, learn from it and move on.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Ryan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *