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Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
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Ego Is the Enemy (2016)

by Ryan Holiday

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335851,101 (3.85)3
""While the history books are filled with tales of obsessive visionary geniuses who remade the world in their image with sheer, almost irrational force, I've found that history is also made by individuals who fought their egos at every turn, who eschewed the spotlight, and who put their higher goals above their desire for recognition." --from the prologue Many of us insist the main impediment to a full, successful life is the outside world. In fact, the most common enemy lies within: our ego. Early in our careers, it impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, it can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, it magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. At every stage, ego holds us back. Ego Is the Enemy draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to his­tory. We meet fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by con­quering their own egos. Their strategies and tactics can be ours as well. In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts. Armed with the lessons in this book, as Holiday writes, "you will be less invested in the story you tell about your own specialness, and as a result, you will be liberated to accomplish the world-changing work you've set out to achieve.""-- ""While the history books are filled with tales of obsessive visionary geniuses who remade the world in their image with sheer, almost irrational force, I've found that history is also made by individuals who fought their egos at every turn, who eschewed the spotlight, and who put their higher goals above their desire for recognition." --from the prologue"--… (more)

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I don't think this book is for everyone. It is only for those who are arrogant, rich and proud and need a dose of reality check.

This book is also a one sided argument on why ego is bad for you. Can it be good? Think about it.

I heard Ryan Holiday talk a lot more about ego on his videos. If he's still have so much to talk about ego, why didn't he include it in this book?

IMO, he's more concerned on writing a good literacy piece (his own ego) than to teach other people. ( )
  Wendy_Wang | Sep 28, 2019 |
I don't think this book is for everyone. It is only for those who are arrogant, rich and proud and need a dose of reality check.

This book is also a one sided argument on why ego is bad for you. Can it be good? Think about it.

I heard Ryan Holiday talk a lot more about ego on his videos. If he's still have so much to talk about ego, why didn't he include it in this book?

IMO, he's more concerned on writing a good literacy piece (his own ego) than to teach other people. ( )
  Jason.Ong.Wicky | Oct 9, 2018 |
After reading The Obstacle is the Way, I decided to read this most recent work by Ryan Holiday. While the way some of the snippets of biographical histories have been used as examples could be challenged from their somewhat mono-cultural bent, and there were quite a few typographical errors which put me ill at ease, I still found this work helpful. Again, I marvel at the wisdom of somebody so young but the depth of reading by the author is obvious and this encourages me to look beyond the standard criticisms of formulaic success manuals with small historical snippets as supporting arguments. I particularly like the bibliography and I will request a copy of the extended reading list available from the author. But as part of my overall reading plan, I am glad that I took the time to read Holiday's work and I intend to read the rest very soon. ( )
  madepercy | Nov 7, 2017 |
A bit preachy and taken a bit far, but nevertheless a good reminder of the extent to which our egos malignly interfere with our lives. ( )
  jvgravy | May 15, 2017 |
This book will make you reflect on your life and probe into your personality. It certainly has made me think about my actions - past and on going. I no longer portray my certificates in my cubicle, just so it doesn't sway me away for the real purpose of me doing my work. Speaking of purpose, the author aptly puts it 'be driven by purpose not by passion'. The author suggests to steer clear from rewards and praises. I could relate this to what Dr. Kelly McGonigal says in her book The Willpower Instinct- focus on commitment and not on progress.

I read variety and I see this point come up in various places:
Bhagavad Gita: Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities.
Physics: Atom is mostly void; since we're chiefly made up of nothing, why tame ego?
Biologically, your birth is the result of a chance event - one out of million other cells. For a probability so small, why need such a large ego?

I wish the examples provided were a little more recent so readers could relate more closely to those.

Clean up the floor of ego and continually do so - intense! ( )
  nmarun | Mar 11, 2017 |
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