Our ego wants us to win, to be right, to be better. It’s not interested in empathy, understanding, growing or being mature. It’s like a child who wants what he wants without any regard to those around him. Our ego is unrefined and raw, and it never really grows up. The problem is that no matter how old and/or mature we become, our ego is always working to override our intelligence. And if we don’t stay alert for this, and let our guard down, we can say and/or do some pretty embarrassing and/or regretful things. It may mean that we come out of the shoot too fast on a topic and hold fast to an opinion or desire created by our ego; it may mean that we brag when we would be better served by being quiet or humble; it may mean that we “tell” instead of letting others self-discover; and it may mean that we attach ourselves to an outcome that is emotionally, or egotistically driven, without knowing whether or not the outcome best serves everyone involved.
Our attachment to ideas, thoughts, directions and outcomes creates a playground for our ego. It doesn’t take long before our ego convinces us that our opinion of something is, in fact, a fact. Beware of this. As a tactic to keep my ego at bay, and to avoid any or all of the aforementioned traps, I had to teach myself to say, “The only outcome I’m attached to is the best possible outcome, and I may not yet know what that is.” And sure enough, just by reminding myself of this, it forces me to ask questions and explore, and it allows me to stay open to an idea, direction or outcome potentially better than my own. Try it. Try it a lot. I’ll bet that you will see your relationships, presentations, interactions, etc. improve. “The only outcome I’m attached to is the best possible outcome, and I may not yet know what that is.” You’ll also find that you may reduce your level of stress, and increase your own personal peace when you remind yourself of this. This is something I have worked very hard to master in my life, and I am certain that it could be a small thing that brings about big changes in your own.