“Ego isn’t who you are, it’s how you are.” – Jed McKenna
Hey, welcome back 🙂
Last week, I made a comment that set off a surprising number of questions — and, uncovered a powerful lesson about transcending the ego.
The comment was about my talk at WLU Business School, and how sometimes, when answering students…
“I can easily sound like a ‘prick’ if I don’t weigh my words carefully.”
More than one person took note of this, and the feedback was surprising.
“Why would you care about being a prick, or about how someone else takes your words if you’re being honest and genuine?”
Then, Ethan added:
“I’d be extremely interested to hear what the ‘prick’ response would be. I would love to hear a more unfiltered version of these emails and talks.”
I love questions like these, because the answer flips the paradigm of the question upside down.
Here’s what I told them:
I don’t choose my words carefully to avoid upsetting people, to sound impressive, or to be “unfiltered.”
I choose my words carefully because they are the primary delivery system for my teaching, and I care about how well the teaching is delivered.
Sometimes, I need words with a sharp edge that can cut through whatever is blocking the student in question.
Those words may sting on impact — and some might even think that (*gasp*) I’m a bit of a prick.
That’s fine, if the situation calls for it.
But as I said to Will and Ethan:
If the teaching doesn’t require a sharp edge, but I still deliver it that way, it’s my ego that is delivering the message.
No bueno, in my book…
Because if my ego is delivering the message, then the message will activate the ego of the listener, which is exactly what is blocking them from downloading the message fully.
Said another way:
It’s my job to make the medicine go down, and the medicine only goes down smooth when it’s pure.
So rather than trying to be “unfiltered,” I am actively filtering myself:
Not for self-protection, but for purification.
Not to avoid upsetting others, but to make the teaching land for them.
My goal is not to teach in the most impressive way, it’s to teach in the most effective way — and my loyalty is not to my self-image as a teacher, but to the teaching itself.
I hope that makes sense.
There’s a lot more to say on this, but we’ll save that for another day.
Have an awesome start to your week over there, and let us know how today’s lesson landed for you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
P.S. Our retreat session on “Designing Yourself” goes much deeper into the topic of ego:
– How to deconstruct the weaker, more vulnerable aspects of ego that are prone to getting triggered
– How to re-construct a stronger, more powerful self-image built on your own unique values and core principles, rather than on social conditioning
– How to begin to transcend the ego, so that instead of blocking you it acts as a vehicle for your life mission
And a bunch more.
This one was a crowd-favorite, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone who owns the 2023 recordings.
(they’ll be ready soon!)
In the meantime, this guided meditation can help you begin to see who you really are, beyond the limited ego.Enjoy 🙂