By Shaun Hay
(This article is an excerpt from his new book "Notes to my Children". More details on how to order the book below)
What is the "Ego"?
Quoting from "Fearless Soul", "The "Ego" is a self-generated identity, consisting of every belief we believe about who we & what we are. This includes our personality, our talents & our likes & dislikes.The "Ego" is what keeps us locked away in our minds in an endless cycle of chatter, separated from the present moment. It is the identity created & reinforced by the story we tell ourselves. Our stories are, however, just that. Stories. They do not make up who we are.
Eckhart Tolle says:
"The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status & recognition, knowledge & education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal & family history, belief systems & often nationalistic, racial, religious, & other collective identifications. None of these are you."
While the "Ego" is an aspect of the human condition, it is not the true essence of who we are. When we operate from ego we are generally obsessed with right & wrong...blame & shame. We are not acting from a loving place, but a judgemental place. We are not acting from a place of "how can I serve" or "how can I give"...rather, "what do I get", & "how do I look''. Learning to identify the traits & behaviours of the ego...& then working to consciously make a different choice will drastically change your life.
Seems like good advice, but what does "Ego" looks & sound like?
How does our ego play out in our lives, from a personality perspective?
Perhaps these examples will provide some idea of what our "Ego" can look & sound like:
You should take pride in whatever you do. You should recognise that there is a right & wrong way to do things. There is always good & bad. There is perfection & there is sloppiness. If you are not prepared to do it right, then don't bother doing it. If you happen to be my boss, you should recognise that when you assign me to do anything, give me enough time & resources. Recognise that I have to teach & guide everyone in order to produce the best piece of work for you. If you happen to be in my team, recognise that your work quality reflects on me. So, do it my way, or do it somewhere else. If you are my spouse, remember to recognise me for bringing goodness & rightness into everything we do as a family. Most of all, respect me for my thoughts & opinions. I know how to do it right.
You should recognise that I know you better than you know yourself. I always know your needs even before you become aware of your needs. I will always put your needs before my needs. If you happen to be my boss, you must recognise that I will always sacrifice & help you in times of your need. If you happen to be in my team, recognise that without me, you won't have it so easy. You should always include me in your life decisions because I will be here for you, you helpless creature. If you happen to be my spouse, recognise that you need me. Recognise that you owe it to me.
You should recognise that I am a smart, effective & competent individual. Not only can I do everything you ask, but I can also deliver them in the quickest & in the best possible way. If you happen to be my boss, you should count yourself fortunate because with my competency & effectiveness, you will have the best performing team within the organisation. Recognise me, respect me, reward me, praise me because I am a winner. If you happen to be in my team, you should feel motivated & fortunate to be part of a winning team. If you are my spouse, remember to always make me look good because how you look reflects on how I look to the rest of the world.
You should recognise that there is a specialness & uniqueness about me. I may not be sure what that is, but you need to recognise that I can't be the same as others. What I feel & do is usually very intense & passionate & difficult for you average people to understand. If you happen to be my boss, you need to recognise that the "average" rules do not apply to me because I am different & you must make allowance for me to be different. I am not being difficult, I am just misunderstood. If you happen to be in my team, try & live up to my self-image but recognise that you most probably will let me down. If you happen to be my spouse, recognise that everything needs to be simple & aesthetically pleasing, including you.
You should recognise that resources are not enough. So, I am only interested in spending my time & resources if the topics interest me. I am not anti-social or intentionally provocative or abrasive, but what I conceptualise in my head is far too difficult for you to understand, so stop wasting my time. If you happen to be my boss, recognise that I am not procrastinating, I just need to "intellectualise" & conceptualise things before acting on it. If you happen to be in my team, recognise that I do everything in my head. Speak up or ask if you don't understand. If you happen to be my spouse, recognise that I talk to you all the time, in my head. If you can't hear me, ask me again.
You should recognise that I am anxious & doubtful because things are not as simple as it looks. Recognise that I am always busy trying to stay vigilant & anticipating problems. If you happen to be my boss, recognise that when I procrastinate or being indecisive or overly cautious or evasive, it's because the situations have caused me to over-commit without sufficient clarity. If you happen to be in my team, recognise that if you are not working together with me, then you are working against me. If you happen to be my spouse, recognise that I may overreact or exaggerate problems because everything has overwhelmed me & made me feel helpless.
You should recognise that more choices & more options are always better. Recognise that I do not settle into anything too soon because something better is just around the corner. If you happen to be my boss, recognise that I am not irresponsible or impulsive because I abandon my schedules, plans & appointments. Recognise that it's because I feel that something more urgent, more important, more worthwhile has come up. If you happen to be in my team, recognise that I need to be on the go all the time, so you better learn to keep up with me. If you happen to be my spouse, recognise that I get bored easily so you need to build varieties into our lives.
You should recognise that it's not that I am forceful, boastful, aggressive or proud. It's just that I don't need anyone. If you happen to be my boss, recognise that I am the one who orders people around & openly defy anyone who attempts to tell me what to do. If you happen to be in my team, recognise that it's not that I like threatening you or intimidating you. Recognise that I do that to test your willpower to stay strong. Recognise that if you show your weakness, the world will eat you up. If you happen to be my spouse, recognise that I like to play hard, love hard & take risks to test & prove myself.
You should recognise that I can be passive, phlegmatic & complacent not because I am unresponsive to your needs. Recognise that routine brings peace & harmony into my mind. Recognise that your need for change & your anger drains me so I rather disengage from you. If you happen to be my boss, recognise that you can't just change routine as you please. Recognise that you need to schedule change. If you happen to be in my team, recognise that I like solutions that require the least amount of effort. If you happen to be my spouse, recognise that I may say yes when I meant no, so as not to cause any conflict.
These voices of our ego are usually very subtle. Not forgetting that we grew up with our ego. So their voices sound naturally right to us. They often sound like good intentions. Pay attention to them. Listen to them closely. Discern them. And you may soon notice that they are just our justifications disguised as good intentions. Without discernment, we will continue to be led by it.
3 tips on managing your ego.
Taking a leaf from the same, here are 3 tips on managing your ego to create a more peaceful, loving life.
Perhaps it's good to remind ourselves to always keep in mind that we are part of something much bigger than us. I say that from the space of love for you. You will always be the most important person in my life.
I wish for you peace of mind, love, health & happiness.
Notes from the Author and How to order the book
After almost 3 years of working on it, on & off, "Notes to my Children" is finally "baking in the oven" & ready to be serve!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who have taken time to offer support & kind words of encouragement every now & then. Your kind words of encouragement meant more then you know. So, many thanks to you.
As you may know, "Notes to my Children" is a consolidation of the many conversations that my daughters & I shared over the years.
1. About Self-Awareness
- Voices of our ego
- Silencing our ego
- Anchoring my beliefs
- Anchoring my values
- Anchoring my habits
- Anchoring my perceptions
2. About Relationship with Others
- Looking for Mr. Right
- Finding true love
- Love & marriage
- Keeping the marriage healthy & happy
3. About Career
- Things that I learnt after 50 years of working
- Building tractions in your career
- Be a good leader
4. About Life
- Defining Success
- Old man wisdom
- Living a "good" life
If you feel that the content resonates with you & would like to get your hand on a copy of the book, you can purchase a soft cover version at Kinokuniya, Popular, Times, Amazon.sg. at $25 plus GST, when it is launched within the next 2 weeks or so.
Alternatively, you can pre-order by sending Shaun an email at email@example.com
- $22 for a soft cover copy(No GST)
- $32 for a hard cover copy (No GST)(limited copies available)
Please specify number of soft cover & hard cover copies required & the address that the books should be mail to.
You can either PayLah to Shaun or bank transfer to this account:
Bank: RHB Bank Singapore
Account Number: 19810071408
Account Name: Hay Nen Kheng
About the Author
Shaun Hay spent the last 40 years in various roles and found his calling in the Learning & Development arena. He believes that the learning & development space has allowed him to make a positive difference in people's lives. One of his personal beliefs is that the day one stops to learn is the day one starts to "die". As an avid life-long learner, he is constantly seeking new knowledge to improve himself. He embodies "respect" as the foundational building block for positive engagement, and when people approach him for help, he upholds the respect for the opportunity and the trust extended to him. These are the drivers for his duty—to do whatever is within his means to make a positive difference to this person.