Many self-help books have been written in the modern and even ancient days but nothing quite stands out like Ryan Holiday’s Ego is the Enemy. Scholars and basic literates have likewise admonished self-help books as being basic cash crunches but many agree that Ego is the Enemy is indeed a masterpiece in calling out an age-old ‘disease’ inflicting every modern-day man called ‘EGO’.
Written by a man who had the first-hand experience in dealing with ego itself, the book was published in 2016 and still stands as one of the author’s greatest books to this day. After going through spirals of massive success and unforeseen failure, the author finally realized that the biggest issue he was facing was his ego. He even gives a story of how he had earlier on though he had conquered his ego only to realize later on, that at the pinnacle of his success, ego came back and almost took over his entire life. That’s when he realized that fighting the ego is an everyday battle that must be conquered at each passing moment.
Drawing inspirations from all spheres of life, the book is divided into three phases of each human’s probable life experiences and how to tackle the ego at each phase. During each of these phases, the author draws examples from different historical figures, fables, and personal experiences to depict exactly how ego is everyone’s enemy. This not only makes the book an interesting read in terms of self-help but also makes it an entirely exciting and relatable read as it draws experiences that every reader can personally relate to.
Phase 1: Aspiration
As every man aspires, he is faced with a major challenge of a likewise aspiring ego. In his book, Ryan explains how ego is a very dangerous force and why it can turn your aspirations upside down and leave you never achieving what you had intended. This is a crucial stage to overcome ego as this will set a precept for handling ego even the consequent phases.
Phase 2: Success
Drawing quotes from different authors and philosophers, Ryan insurmountably reiterates the fact that it is very easy for success to explode your ego, despite having conquered it in the past. This phase of life often reveals someone’s character as they believe that they have nothing to lose. Ryan’s book guides you through the very murky waters of overcoming ego at such a dangerous stage of life as this.
Phase 3: Failure
Most of the time, this is the phase that passion and ego have a very thin line in someone’s understanding. Often, an individual insists on going on with a project bound to fail out of ego or in the need to ‘prove others wrong’. This is where most people call it passion, but Ryan calls it ego. This phase is often overlooked but it can lead to paralysis of an individual and retrogressive progress for a big chunk of their lives.
This is a very tiny, almost microscopic, look at this masterpiece of a book. The knowledge, insight, warnings, lessons, and experiences in this book are beyond comparison. If you want a quick and easy way to deal with ego, often a close cousin of pride, then this is a book for you. Whether you are a small business owner, a student, a CEO of a multi conglomerate, or even the President of your country, the ego will always want to creep into your life and take the steering wheel. You must be able to always conquer it for the ego is not your friend and it does not want what is best for you. Ego is your enemy!