[quote style=”boxed”]Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego and develop the spirit of surrender. You will then experience Bliss. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba[/quote]
A few months ago, I was figuring out a way of how to be free from ego as i was going through a pretty dry patch which if you’re living in London in the summer, is often quite common due to lack of sun and warmth. For the first time in a few months, my mood had shifted from a fairly positive outlook, to one that seemed bleak, ego destroying and without hope. It seemed as though i was working really hard to try and achieve goals set for myself, yet every time i reached out for it, the possibility of attaining it seemed to move further and further away from me. It almost felt as if i was going backwards instead of forwards. My ego seemed crushed because all of my hopes and dreams had suddenly seemed difficult and almost impossible to attain.
Quite soon after this period, i began to simply lose care due to consistently failing and hitting brick walls in my progress. But at that point, something interesting started to happen. Everything that was previously difficult had suddenly started to become easy. I was able to function better, enjoy the moment, feel free from my expectation to succeed. It wasn’t until i started to analyze this in more detail that i started to realize what exactly was going on.
Can the idea of letting go really be a solution?
Having experienced this at first hand on multiple occasions in various areas of my life, i began to understand that the key ingredient to an inflated ego is high expectation. With every goal created comes a tendency to analyze, focus and calculate exactly what needs to be done in order to get from one place to another.
But it simply isn’t how life works. This took me a while to understand and still have to remind myself whenever i get to a place of expectation and high hopes.
Life is unpredictable
You really have no idea what will happen when you take an action, whatever that action may be. The moment you place an expectation on the result, the higher likely you’ll hurt your ego and self-confidence.
In thinking about the areas of my life that seem in order, i’m able to now recognize that it’s because of the above facts; I’m simply not bothered about the outcome and focused more on ‘having fun’ and enjoying the present moment for what it is. Ironically, this has lead me to improving my skill without realizing i’ve actually improved.
Many people go through the same experience at work without realizing. Chances are, most of us are at a full-time job which we may or may not enjoy yet we’re obliged to fulfill our duties in order to make a living. So we’re compelled to socialize and have fun with other colleagues in order to make the time at work memorable. Over time, we become better and more efficient at our job, receive a promotion or become experienced enough to finally leave and pursue bigger things.
Were you conscious of your development? or was you focusing on the task at hand?
Chances are, the development of your craft didn’t seem at all evident, yet it became a byproduct of simply ‘doing the work’.
A massive realization for me which has helped me greatly in pursuing and achieving goals.
From what i’ve learned, i propose 3 steps in order to free your ego and to develop a clear and free mind:
1) Clear your mental clutter
All of us have an internal chatterbox, telling us from right or wrong or even giving us false information which simply isn’t true. I invite you to take out a notebook and write down all of the things in your mind that’s bothering you and split them all into 2 groups. Things that are within your control, and things that are outside your control. The things that are within your control, create a plan of action. For the remaining problems, understand that worrying about it will not change anything and that the best thing you can do is to simply let go of it.
2) Create subconscious goals
What use is a goal if it isn’t conscious? The purpose of a goal is to achieve. However the worst thing we can do is to focus on it because it makes us lose the real purpose of what we’re trying to achieve. In this instance, write down your goals in a notebook, close it and then put it away and trust that things will work out the way you want it to go. As life isn’t predictable, the best thing we can all do is to have dreams yet not feel compelled to achieve it by forcing things to happen. Because it’s the process of forcing things to happen that usually results in high expectation and eventually failure.
3) Enjoy the process
You’re learning how to dance? Enjoy the act of dancing, however good or bad you think you are. You want to learn how to defend yourself? enjoy the act of repetition. You want to learn how to draw? enjoy the motion of pencil flowing through paper and seeing your creations unfold over time.
Key points to take away
– As long as you’re in your head and not in the present moment, you will remain trapped and is the recipe for a damaged ego. Let it go.
– Goal achievement is of secondary importance.
– What’s really important is the unknown because it’s how life really works.
– Always embrace the present because it’s what makes life exciting and unpredictable.