by George P.H.
“Ego” is a buzzword we hear all the time, especially when talking about men. Still, few people understand what the term means and how it affects their lives.
Believe it or not, most of your negative emotions – fear, loneliness, anger, etc – come from the ego. It’s the source of all mental resistance and pain.
But much like the boogeyman in a child’s closet, the ego disappears when you turn on the lights and take a closer look at it. Let’s begin by doing just that.
What Is The Ego?
In a broad sense, the ego is your self-image; who you view yourself as. It is the voice inside saying “I am this way” and judging, comparing and analyzing everything and everyone in your life.
It is easier to feel the ego than it is to understand it logically. Definitions of the term are deliberately vague in all traditions – Buddhism, Hinduism, modern spirituality – for this reason. The best way to “get it” is through examples and self-observation.
Let’s say a man walks up to you, says you’re a jackass and walks away. You haven’t been physically hurt and your life hasn’t changed. And yet you might feel angry or upset because your self-image – your ego – has been challenged. “How dare he say that to me? I’m not a jackass!” is what you might think inside.
The ego also tells you what “should be” based on who you think you are. Imagine a girl you were planning to bring home suddenly says she’d rather eat dry paint than touch you. You might get upset, even though the only thing being attacked is your expectation of what “should have been” and the image of yourself as a guy who can get this girl.
In both scenarios, nothing really happens – and yet most people would experience great emotional pain. This is because they are deeply invested into their self-image and the expectations that come with it. When reality interferes, resistance – the source of all mental pain – enters their lives.
by Nick Notas
Overthinking can paralyze us. Before we’ve even set out to do something, we’re already imagining countless different scenarios in our head.
This usually plays out with a series of internal “what if” questions…
“What if I fail? What if I look stupid? What if people judge me?”
We envision the worst outcomes possible. We terrify ourselves from taking action.
When you believe an experience is going to be negative, you’re likely to avoid that experience.
You’re setting yourself up to fail. And it’s because you’re asking the wrong questions. How we talk to ourselves has a powerful impact on reality.
Think about this…
Do these “What if” questions make you more anxious or less anxious?
Are you really more prepared by stressing over them in your head?
Have they gotten you the success you wanted?
Instead, what usually happens is…
Ask negative “what if” questions -> Imagine negative outcome -> Inspire inaction -> Don’t gain experience or improve -> Reinforce negative beliefs and insecurities about yourself -> Inspire inaction in the future
We need to break this self-destructive cycle.
Have you ever heard of The Curse of the Traveler?
An old vagabond in his 60s told me about it over a beer in Central America, goes something like this: The more places you see, the more things you see that appeal to you, but no one place has them all. In fact, each place has a smaller and smaller percentage of the things you love, the more things you see. It drives you, even subconsciously, to keep looking, for a place not that’s perfect (we all know there’s no Shangri-La), but just for a place that’s “just right for you.” But the curse is that the odds of finding “just right” get smaller, not larger, the more you experience. So you keep looking even more, but it always gets worse the more you see. This is Part A of the Curse.
Part B is relationships. The more you travel, the more numerous and profoundly varied the relationships you will have. But the more people you meet, the more diffused your time is with any of them. Since all these people can’t travel with you, it becomes more and more difficult to cultivate long term relationships the more you travel. Yet you keep traveling, and keep meeting amazing people, so it feels fulfilling, but eventually, you miss them all, and many have all but forgotten who you are. And then you make up for it by staying put somewhere long enough to develop roots and cultivate stronger relationships, but these people will never know what you know or see what you’ve seen, and you will always feel a tinge of loneliness, and you will want to tell your stories just a little bit more than they will want to hear them. The reason this is part of the Curse is that it gets worse the more you travel, yet travel seems to be a cure for a while.
None of this is to suggest that one should ever reduce travel. It’s just a warning to young Travelers, to expect, as part of the price, a rich life tinged with a bit of sadness and loneliness, and angst that’s like the same nostalgia everyone feels for special parts of their past, except multiplied by a thousand.
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.