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The Enemy Within: How the Ego Holds Us Back and What to Do About It




Breaking Free from the Shackles of the Ego Why does the Ego pose a threat to true freedom? The Ego drives people to compete instead of collaborate. When the Ego is elevated, an individual believes themselves to be the center of the universe, and when it is low, the person may be living below their true potential. The Ego of powerful individuals is often the cause of conflicts, both personal and professional, and between peoples and nations. In order to oppose the Ego, we must invest in the concept of collaboration. Renouncing the “I win, you lose” mentality may initially seem like it offers lower personal or group benefits compared to what can be achieved through competition (where the winner takes all). However, systematic collaboration with a “win-win” approach results in longer-term benefits with less stress and collateral damage. If human beings adopt this principle in the development of artificial intelligence, it will show that collaborating is better than competing. Freeing oneself from the Ego is the first step to achieving the right balance in our existence. But what is the Ego? Is it a tangible entity or a mere fabrication of our lives? Fundamentally, is the Ego necessary for living a complete and meaningful life in our society, or is it the nemesis of self-awareness? The Ego is a self-perception; it is the way we see ourselves in our inner mirror. When the Ego is strong, we tend toward narcissism. However, scientifically speaking, it is not very clear what happens when we reduce the Ego to a minimum. Does it result in depression? Self-underestimation? Living below one’s potential? In general, those with a strong Ego consider themselves the center of the world, believing that everything revolves around them, and that the world implicitly serves their needs. We can say, in line with our theses, that competition begins with the Ego, the constant attempt to prevail over other Egos, with the founding logic being that of zero-sum games: “I win, you lose.” The Ego, especially when it affects others, loves to win and assert its dominance. Ego and Real Life The Ego wants more and more – to prevail, to affirm its reasons. In the modern society of “accumulation equals happiness,” the Ego demands that we win, gain, and never stop. This endless race, a pure illusion of what really matters, conditions how we see ourselves in the inner mirror. We view each other positively when the Ego is satisfied and negatively when it is depressed. We are victims of the illusion that our thoughts are the universal truth, and the Ego is the puppeteer that feeds it. As mentioned in the post “Less is More,” I am convinced that less is more, that the attainment of equilibrium, rather than surplus, is the true frontier of well-being and, therefore, happiness. The Ego is our enemy because, by deluding us and providing us with false feelings of well-being, it takes us away from what truly benefits our existence. Overcoming the Ego means approaching freedom. But this is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for freeing oneself from the illusions of life. Collaboration versus Competition Collaborating rather than competing and leaning toward the least rather than the most are two powerful methods for countering the Ego. Think of the shift from “I brought home this success through my work” to “We achieved this success as a team



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