Never before in the history of the human race has it been easier for a human being to build up their ego.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube give each person a platform to get attention, likes, approval, validation, encouragement, followers, subscribers, and fans. It is easier now than it has ever been.
Before the Internet, boosting your ego used to be a huge undertaking. Now as it’s easy as snapping a quick photo of yourself and then tapping the publish button on your smartphone.
We live in an era where everybody has the opportunity to be a mini-celebrity. And the biggest social media stars—the influencers—not only receive more attention online than anyone else, they also earn millions of dollars, travel the world, and live a lifestyle that used to be reserved for only movie stars, athletes, or musicians.
We live in the era of ego.
So for today’s youth, it is more tempting than ever to strive for success purely for the purpose of boosting your self-pride, self-worth, self-esteem, and ego.
But even though ego is a necessary part of the human mind that helps you navigate through the world, you should NEVER Pursue a Goal for Your Ego.
Even if it feels good at first, pursuing your goals purely to boost your pride, ego, and self-worth will end up hurting your mental health, happiness, and your success in the long-run.
Here are 3 reasons why you should Never Pursue a Goal for Your Ego.
1) Ego Is a Weak Motivator
Imagine for a second that you are in the middle of the toughest struggle of your life. Your personal life is in shambles, relationships are falling apart, your career has hit some major bumps in the road, and the odds of your success in any aspect of life seem slim.
What would be a better motivator for you during that period of time:
Protecting your ego, self-worth, status, and self-esteem?
Or your dedication to being a fantastic role model for your family and community?
I’m guessing you picked the second answer.
You picked the second answer is not just because it’s the right thing to do. But you picked the second answer because instinctively you probably know that ego is not the best motivator.
Striving to help yourself will always be a weaker source of motivation compared to striving to help others. Whether you are working to help your spouse, children, family, community, country, or the human race, the opportunity to help others will always be a more powerful motivator than seeking to boost your ego, get validation, and raise your status in the world. And if you are lucky enough to love what you do, your passion will always motivate you in ways that your ego never will.
Having a nice car, nice house, lots of money in the bank account, lots of attention, lots of followers online, and lots of validation from the outside world is great. But all of that stuff ceases to be important when you are in the middle of the struggle.
So you should Never Pursue a Goal for Your Ego. Ego is not a big enough motivator to push you through the struggles, setbacks, and hardships that you are inevitably going to face along the way.
When it’s 3am, you’re exhausted, and you need to keep working, keep making calls, keep closing deals, keep hustling, keep writing, or keep editing in order to accomplish your goal, your Ego is not going to get you through that struggle.
But your passion, love for your work, compassion, empathy, and altruistic ambitions will.
2) You Will Never Be 100% Happy or Satisfied with Ego-Driven Success
Off the top of your head, can you think of any celebrity super-stars who are just unfulfilled, unhappy, unsatisfied with their success?
With the long list of celebrity outbursts, scandals, and overdoses that have happened over the years, I’m sure you could name more than 20 if you really sat down and thought about it.
There might be too many to count.
One of the main reasons why super-successful people are unhappy and unsatisfied with their careers, is because they are doing it for the wrong reasons. At some point they stopped making songs, doing movies, or building businesses for the passion, the purpose, or the fulfillment that they felt. And they started doing it to boost their ego.
And when you follow a dream or pursue a goal for your ego and succeed, that accomplishment will never be enough to make you feel happy. Because the nature of your ego is to always want more.
Even if you do gain millions of dollars, millions of followers, millions of accomplishments, there will always be some other person out there who has more or who is doing more. There will always be someone out there succeeding on a higher level who you can compare yourself to.
That comparison will always make you feel unsatisfied.
So seeking success for your ego is a pursuit that will always turn out badly in one way or another. Because even if you succeed, you will never be one hundred percent happy, satisfied, or fulfilled with what you have.
So if there is a grand dream or ambition in your heart right now, don’t do it for the ego, pride, and validation. Do it for the purpose, the passion, and the opportunity to grow.
3) If you don’t succeed, that failure will be devastating.
Nothing hurts more than a blow to the ego.
Think about the most crushing failures of your life. Whether it was getting rejected by the man or woman of your dreams, finding out your spouse was cheating on you, getting cut from a sports team, failing to get your application accepted to your favorite college, losing a job, or losing a business opportunity, your ego was always the source of the worst suffering.
Your ego was bruised in some way. And ego bruises can be incredibly painful. The feeling of not being enough is a powerful cause for suffering.
That’s why making ego your main motivation is a mistake. Because everybody has failures, setbacks, and struggles on their individual paths and journeys in life. And when you do fail at an ego-driven pursuit, you will be devastated.
Many authors, businesspeople, and stars in their respective fields often say that earning huge success and then losing it is much more painful than never having succeeded at all. Because the validation, attention, and glory pump your ego up, only to deflate your sense of self-worth after it all goes away.
But when you pursue a goal because you love your craft or because you want to help others, that failure will not be able to faze, devastate, or knock you out of the game. Because you will be able to say to yourself: “At least I failed working on something that I love, that excites me, that I care about, and that helps improve the lives of others.”
Don’t Let Your Ego Run the Show
Ego will always be a healthy and necessary part of your life. But you shouldn’t let your ego run the show. Whether it’s in your career, personal life, or relationships, your ego should never be your main motivation for big life choices.
Ego is a weak motivator that leads to unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and pain regardless of whether you succeed or not.
But when you use passion, purpose, and growth as your motivators, you will always be fulfilled, never run out of motivation, and stay resilient when things don’t go your way. You’ll get knocked down, but you will never be out of the game.
When you pursue a goal because you absolutely love it, because it helps others, and because you want to grow into that best version of yourself, you will ironically attain all of the accomplishments, attention, validation, and material success that your ego was seeking to get in the first place. And it will feel great.
But you just have to always make sure that your sense of pride and ego never becomes your main priority or motivation. Don’t let your ego run the show!
So what is your biggest takeaway from this blog post?
I want to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments!
For more information, advice, and guidance on overcoming your ego’s toxic influence on your career and your life, make sure to check out Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday—the best book I’ve ever read so far on the subject of the ego.
And For more motivation, make sure to subscribe to our Whatever It Takes Weekly Mailing List! And until the next post, don’t forget to Do Whatever It Takes for your happiness, health, passion, purpose, growth, and life-goals.
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