Earlier today, I was asked “Why is ego bad?”
I responded with “It takes all you have and leaves you with what you were born with, nothing.” I paused, then thought about it, and then decided to tell him, “I mean, go try it. See where it gets you.”
He then asked me, “How do you define ego, Leonard?”
I responded, “Cockiness and arrogance.”
Confidence is saying “I believe in myself.”
Ego is saying “I am the best.”
Confidence is saying “I can do it.”
Ego is saying “I’m the best there is at this and no one can compete with me.”
To inflate confidence and to deflate ego, what I did was realized that I was human. I had my faults. I wasn’t perfect. I wasn’t an almighty being that had all the answers to the world. Hell, earlier today I spilled some water on my shirt.
Would an almighty being be able to do something so stupid?
Of course not.
So, in order for me to maintain my confidence, yet not let my ego get in the way, I have to stay humble. I have to stay humble, hungry and honest. I can’t let my selfish desires get in the way. I can’t think I am superior to anyone else. I have to remember that we are all just terminals surrounded by data. At the end of the day, we’re all equals here in this earth.
We all have different experiences. We all have different skills. We all have different faults. That does not make any of us better or worse than anyone else. However, it just makes us different.
What works best for me is to wake up each morning and to think of three things I’m grateful for. By being grateful, I am able to realize that I can not make it in the world on my own. I need the help of others.
Then I follow it up with an attitude of abundance. I help everyone I can. Why? Because the more abundance I have, the more I will be blessed with true abundance of my own. My successes in life are not cultivated by myself. They are the universe’s way of providing what I put out into the world. I receive back what I give.
So, in order to be blessed with great things, I must perform acts of great kindness.
Otherwise, I will be consumed into the depths of hell, where my ego runs wild and takes all that I have worked so hard to build, and burns it all away into a fiery pit, never to be seen again.
Originally posted on Quora.
Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.