I could have titled this post:
- Why You’re Unhappy
- What Kills Your Success
- Your #1 Reason for Failure
- Your Biggest Enemy | Fear | Obstacle
- Your Biggest Source of Pain
- The Reason for Your Pain
- The Single Source of Problem in Your Life
- Why Things Don’t Work Out for You
- Why You’re Frustrated, Broke, Miserable, Sad, Unhappy, etc
Because it’s all the same answer: Your ego.
What the what?!
I can see you looking cock-eyed at me. You think I’m nuts. You say you don’t have an ego, and it is not the source of any of your problems.
Allow me to explain:
Of course you recognize a big ego when you see one. There is never a shortage of them on display from Hollywood to Washington, DC. Arrogance, over-confidence, and self-absorption; this is what you have come to know of the ego.
But there is way more to the ego than that narrow aspect.
Ego is far more sneaky and self-destructive than you give it credit. It’s like a piece of malicious software stealthily hiding on your hard drive. You’ve used anti-virus programs, but it’s still there lurking and waiting to explode.
How is ego sneaky?
Because it has convinced you that it is you. Yep. The voice in your head – the one talking all the time, with all the incessant chatter, analyzing everything, judging the world all around you – is your ego. And for most, you consider this voice to be you. You have over-identified with it. And with good reason, after all, it is the loudest voice in your head. It’s been there forever. It’s next to impossible to ignore. So of course you think it’s you. Who else would it be? Consider it a shadow version of you. A dark side.
Your ego prevents you from being happy.
Eckhat Tolle, in his book A New Earth, describes it this way: “Most people are so completely identified with the voice in the head – the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that accompany it – that we may describe them as being possessed by their mind. As long as you are completely unaware of this, you take the thinker to be who you are. This is the ego mind. We call it egoic because there is a sense of self, of I (ego), in every thought – every memory, every interpretation, opinion, viewpoint, reaction, emotion…. In most cases, when you say ‘I,’ it is the ego speaking.”
In Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul, he calls the ego your “inner roommate,” – the voice that never shuts up. Singer says that the inner roommate is a subject, and the real you is the object watching that subject. “If you’re hearing it [the inner roommate] talk, it’s obviously not [the real] you. You are the one who hears the voice. You are the one who notices that it’s talking.”
Singer demonstrates with this example: “Suppose you were looking at three objects – a flowerpot, a photograph, and a book – and were then asked, ‘Which of these objects is you?’ You’d say, ‘None of them! I’m the one who’s looking at what you’re putting in front of me. It doesn’t matter what you put in front of me, it’s always going to be me looking at it.'” Singer continues, “You see, it’s an act of a subject perceiving various objects.”
The real you is not the dominant voice in your head. The real you is the one observing the dominant voice in your head.
You are the one observing the dominant voice in your head. That’s a unique concept to grasp. If you’re like me, the first time I learned this, it kinda freaked me out. I thought, whoa, so I’m not that voice? Then who am I? Like Singer said: If you’re hearing the inner roommate talk, it’s obviously not the real you. Think about that. If something else in your head hears the inner roommate talk, then you have to ask yourself, who is the one doing the hearing?
Fortunately for most, there are only two voices in your heads.
But what if the voices are nice?
After all, aren’t people with egos usually mean, self-centered, harsh, critical, and judgmental? You don’t consider yourself any of those things.
Great question. Read How to Be Happy – Part 2 to find out the answer.
About Christine Boudreau: From trailer park to country club, Christine’s history proves you can beat the odds and achieve great success. Today, she leads high-potential people through growth, change, and transition to accomplish goals and reach their maximum effectiveness. For more information about her, read Christine’s Bio.
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