"Ego Is the Enemy" by Ryan Holiday

I wish I’d read Ego earlier. In fact I wish I’d read Ego back in school, even before collage. I wish I’d read it every time a relationship started going sour, and every time a project failed.

I didn’t realise I had an ego problem. I thought egotism was something extraordinary assholes were occupied with. It turns out everyone has an ego problem. And this book really helps you work through it.

This is one of those books that I will reread, and keep thinking about for years. Here are just a few gems:

““It is impossible to learn that which one thinks one already knows,” Epictetus says. You can’t learn if you think you already know. You will not find the answers if you’re too conceited and self-assured to ask the questions. You cannot get better if you’re convinced you are the best.

— Ryan Holiday

“According to Greene, there are two types of time in our lives: dead time, when people are passive and waiting, and alive time, when people are learning and acting and utilizing every second.
[...]
But what if we said: This is an opportunity for me. I am using it for my purposes. I will not let this be dead time for me. The dead time was when we were controlled by ego. Now—now we can live.”

— Ryan Holiday

“In failure or adversity, it’s so easy to hate. Hate defers blame. It makes someone else responsible. It’s a distraction too; we don’t do much else when we’re busy getting revenge or investigating the wrongs that have supposedly been done to us. Does this get us any closer to where we want to be? No. It just keeps us where we are—or worse, arrests our development entirely. If we are already successful, as Hearst was, it tarnishes our legacy and turns sour what should be our golden years.”

— Ryan Holiday