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Ego is the Enemy PDF
“The comedian Bill Hicks said the world was tainted with fevered egos. In Ego
Is the Enemy, Ryan Holiday writes us all a prescription: humility. This book is
packed with stories and quotes that will help you get out of your own way.
Whether you’re starting out or starting over, you’ll find something to steal here.”
--AUSTIN KLEON, author of Steal Like an Artist
“This is a book I want every athlete, aspiring leader, entrepreneur, thinker, and
doer to read. Ryan Holiday is one of the most promising young writers of his
--GEORGE RAVELING, Hall of Fame Basketball coach and Nike’s Director of International Basketball
“In his new book Ryan Holiday attacks the greatest obstacle to mastery and true
success in life—our insatiable ego. In an inspiring yet practical way, he teaches
us how to manage and tame this beast within us so that we can focus on what
really matters—producing the best work possible.”
--ROBERT GREENE, author of Mastery
But in the first few pages I was proved wrong. Thank God, I thought, this guy is even a better writer than I knew he was. I don’t say this very often but I was impressed by the clarity and simplicity that Ryan addressed such a mind twisting subject. Ego is the Enemy is perhaps the most straight forward book on the subject and a truly humbling lesson on how to live a sober, stoic life. If in his previous book , Ryan addressed many of the stoic philosophies and how those can be applied to our daily lives, in The Ego is The Enemy the reader can only be left in humble contemplation and to question his own life.
While reading it I felt a certain ego resistance to deny and not read it to the end. I knew that the book purpose was this and that the small but precise hits to the ego were addressing issues that I had forgotten or simply put on the side.
I was reminded once again to not fall in the trap of doing too much, too passionately, too soon and to not use that as an excuse to burn myself out and cope with frustration. Passion can be a dangerous element and here is where the sobriety of a student’s life come into play: it is all work, it is all an end on itself and the rewards are the path, not on some outer goal or reward.
Fruit of Ryan’s own study of Stoic philosophy there are also great pieces on the principle of Amor Fati, loving your own fate: 1) The disruptive moments are there for a reason, more likely than not you are unconsciously asking for those, you are behaving in a way that is not healthy or you are leading your life in a way that is not good for you, sometimes only when you hit rock bottom you become truly capable of achieve what you truly desire.
2) The fact that you are not one little special brighter star. You are basically like everybody else, you are not entitled to anything and you need to remind yourself that we are all nothing more than interstellar dust. Yes, you are part of something way bigger than you, you are part of a universe that doesn’t really care about your little problems. Want to feel this: contemplate the ocean, meditate in a silence and listen to all the sounds around you, walk in nature for hours, look directly to the eyes of an animal and see your face reflected on it, watch this video of Andromeda Galaxy or witness true beauty. You will feel part of the All. Freud called this the oceanic feeling.
And lastly Ryan presents us with the most important lesson of all: Always love. Love your work, love your family, love your pet, love yourself, love everything that you don’t consider as yourself, love your enemies, love the failures, the good moments and the bad moments, love everything, love all, always love.
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