April 1, 2014

Your Biggest Choice on the Road to Success.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

Any attempt to reduce success to a single factor or a fixed formula is bound to fail. For every person who successfully follows the formula, there will be dozens who falter. Life has too many ups and downs and unpredictable turns.

This helps to explain why so many high-ranking businessmen point to pure luck as the key to their rise in life. But analysts keep trying to define the ingredients of success. From my own viewpoint, the ones who come close take into account the importance of a person's inner life.

For that reason, I'd say that the single most important choice anyone can make is this: Deciding to be true to yourself and not to our ego. Building a self is a lifelong project that calls upon every inner faculty – integrity, resilience, astuteness, honesty, creativity, and more.

In a society fixated on the external rewards of a successful career, the dominant force on the scene is pure ego. The big personalities win the limelight of hype and PR. This gives a false picture of what it takes, day by day, to succeed. What it takes are a string of countless decisions, not all of which are fated to be right. If you have worked to build a self, setbacks and disappointments add to our self-knowledge. However, if you are guided by your ego, your tools for overcoming setbacks are limited. You claw your way back, become more competitive, turn to underhanded practices, or hide your insecurities in the hope of radiating strength and confidence even though on the inside you feel weak, or at worst like a fraud. It's quite true that the ego's tactics can lead to material success, but the cost in terms of happiness and fulfillment are high.

Because the two words "ego" and "self" are loosely interchangeable, let me distinguish between them.

Ego motivations:

  • Getting as much as you can for yourself.
  • Looking good in the eyes of others.
  • Disguising and denying your weaknesses.
  • Regarding your co-workers as rivals and enemies.
  • Taking care of number one.
  • Winning even if others get hurt in the process.
  • External rewards.
  • Using power to dominate others.
  • Pushing your viewpoint forward against resistance and other people's point of view.
  • Hatred of being seen as a loser.

We all have some of these ingredients, since everyone has an ego to defend. If taken to extremes, egoistic personalities verge on the psychopathic. There are areas of business, such as reckless trading houses on Wall St., where the worst traits of ego drive are hugely rewarded and almost never punished or even held in check. But the vast majority of people don't let their egos completely run away with them. There is room to encourage the motivations of the self instead.

Self motivations:

  • The desire to be fulfilled.
  • Looking good in your own eyes.
  • Honestly facing your weaknesses in order to overcome them.
  • Taking the welfare of others into account.
  • Valuing and seeking other points of view.
  • Preserving your own integrity, speaking your own truth.
  • Forgiving yourself for not being perfect.
  • Keeping external rewards in perspective.
  • Using power to benefit as many people as possible.
  • Basing self-confidence on knowledge and insight.
  • Preferring excellence over winning, and enjoying those times when the two coincide.

When you consider which choice to make, whether to build a self or follow your ego drives, keep in mind that some things in life can't be controlled. You can't change the times you were born in, the family who shaped you, how gifted you might be, and many of the circumstances you find yourself in. Success depends on how you manage the things you have no control over. In the end, fortune may play a part – that, too, is something you can't control – but the people who thrive rather than simply survive owe their fulfillment to the self they have spent so much time and effort in building.

Originally published by Linkedin

Write Your Comment

  1. elan sun star

    Thank you for this relevant article and the distinctions between ego and self and the solutions that self observation can offer. This is very well written indeed. namaste`

  2. Corina

    Thank you for clarifying ego-mind vs self-motivations. Since I have worked more on self, letting go on Ego I have notice huge shifts in my life. I feel so blessed to feel this awakening.

  3. Caraleemusicbee

    This topic is what is ahead of me know and is what inspired me to write about in my next blog post: 5 people who weren`t swayed, people like Freddie mucurey, Roberto Climente, and Frida Kahlo. I`m wondering if there are people who just don`t deny what is calling them and that that is what contributes to their success?

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