The Debilitating Ego

Over the past few months I have struggled with the idea of the ego and the good versus the bad that comes from its over-bearing presence. I thought about a book I had read, Ego Is The Enemy, by Ryan Holiday, an author I had brief conversations with over email. Ryan’s way of presenting the ego is one of the best I have comes across.

I am quite certain that much of my personal angst about managing the ego arose due to my almost immediate juxtaposition from a life devoid of social media accounts to one where it became an impaling necessity of sorts. I had already established a website that was live for two years — a sort of repository of free health and wellness resources, along with a weekly blog post, that I hoped would inspire personal growth and development in the hearts, minds and lives of those who chose to take a look. And I was receiving a steady flow of weekly traffic and downloads of those available items. I was feeling like my small contribution was in fact compounding in to good things for all who chose to make the connection. I was receiving comments on various blog posts, both publicly and privately (a lot more privately likely for various reasons).

I was feeling good about the mission I had pursued. I was fusing a demanding sports medicine fellowship with my private life at home and the public life I was creating because of my recent book publication — hence the latin word ‘publicare,’ meaning to “make public” is where publication comes from. Little did I comprehend that I was not simply making my written work public, but my entire life.

The book made its official debut on April 2nd, 2019, and that led to new time commitments on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, a tiny amount on Twitter, several podcasts (I met some truly gifted and amazing people that I otherwise would not have), interest from businesses and sports teams seeking executive coaches and speakers, and other things that would tend to sharpen and inflate the ego, but instead it NUMBED it.

It has gotten to the point whereI see my investment in the book (TIME & MONEY) and the marketing/social investment (SOME MONEY with lots of TIME), being something I am ready to take as a loss.

Now I will tell you up front I am NOT BURNT OUT. And this is my dilemma. I have more energy than ever. My sleep is improving, my workouts are intense and my FOCUS on becoming the best ME, FATHER, HUSBAND, NAVAL OFFICER and PHYSICIAN is better than it has ever been.

I will keep blogging as I know my small tribe enjoys it, but I think its time to take a siesta — at least intermittent ones — on the other social media outlets. Siestas are good. Truly beneficial. Ask the Spaniards what they think about them. They help enliven a new perspective within us. They help us block out the hate, negative comments and bullying that others throw our way. What they do most is they shut us down so we don’t feel compelled by the constant blast of selfies, videos and propaganda that gets posted daily.

I have tried to prevent my own “work” or “creativity” from doing such a thing, but I know I have added to the fire as well. It’s one of the reasons why I ended up ceasing the promotion of a few of the podcasts I was a guest on. It just did not feel right to send out a Facebook blast or Instagram blast any longer. I had already done it too much because everything, everyone, told me to do so. While I never had the intention of “look at me” it sure felt like it.

I am just seeing too many folks try to sell their perfect lives over the internet and I don’t ever want that to be me because I am not even close. People having to make videos of every waking moment, while at the gym, while walking through the park, and using filters so that selfies would come out perfectly. I also cannot stand all the fake labels that people give themselves these days and I have fallen prey to it myself. A real “life coach” is hard to come by and you cannot really be the “CEO” of a company that does not have any employees or an advisory board. But that is just my take on all of this.

Having a fire in your belly to do work that sells is some of the most amazing motivation known to man. But not all fires are good.

So I will leave you with this today:

Instead of “Just Do It” as the great slogan from Nike proclaims, “Just Be You” unless of course “You” is something you aren’t necessarily proud of.”

See you next time!

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