Ego is the enemy: overcoming your own thoughts

Maniflames on February 29, 2020

About a month ago I entered the last five months of my college experience. This last semester consists of an internship that has to result in a Bac... [Read Full]
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I'm wondering how this book is different from what stoicism books teach us ? everything you said was deeply thought by stoicus Philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius ...

I'm asking just to see if it's worth it to read the book as well.



As @maniflames suggested, Ryan Holiday is one of the most important contemporary philosophers. If you know stoicism well enough, you might not get a lot of new ideas out of this book, but

  • it is written in contemporary English, a bit easier to understand for most
  • it's the second book of his trilogy on - not just Stoic - philosophical questions. He wrote first The Obstacle is the Way and finished the "series" with Stillness is the Key

I enjoyed them all, particularly this last one. If you click on the links, you can read my summaries on them.

Happy reading!


The author of the book is a huge fan of stoic philosophy and history. Besides writing books he runs a youtube channel called daily stoic. The book mostly communicates the things I learned from it, and a lot more, through anecdotes from history and philosophy from mostly stoic philosophers. It is not a book about stoicism but definitely heavily influenced by it. I hope this helps with you decision. Cheers 😁


Ultimately, ego and self-sabotage go hand-in-hand. Remind people of what it is to be human but once you do that, the damage is done. The working world is full of saboteurs, backstabbers, and self-preservationists - within this group are a few good people trying to break free.

Ego is the second most important thing we have. It is what says, I can do this for x period of time. It is what stops you taking a job which you know will be crap, and pushes you forwards. Your ego tells you who is playing you up, and tells you when you are wrong.

Self-awareness is first.


The moment I noticed this, I realised I needed something to calm me down.

You are a rookie, so you have a lot of time to calm down but not yet.

The best rookies are the ones that are motivated. While you understand who is making the call (even if "the call" is stupid), then you will be fine, even if you commit mistakes, rookie commit mistakes.


Usually, the silent one never gets a raise.


Thanks for the advice!

In this case calming me down was more a 'making sure I don't stun myself with stress'. Taking notes so I can make the best of this internship 😁


I always talk about removing "ego problems" from my behavior.

What I mean by this are the things I do not because of any logic that naturally leads to a good outcome, but about things I do out of emotions.

For example:

When I was young, I would destroy things when getting angry then I would miss the things afterward.

I would keep things secret I was ashamed of, sometimes because I did something wrong, etc.

I envied people who had things I wanted or would be jealous of the friends of my partners, which I would also keep secret because, in the end, I was ashamed of it. Often the jealousy would send me in some kind of panic mode of being abandoned.

While I didn't think about this in terms of career success, I certainly think it plays into that. If you're able to own your mistakes makes you calmer and more focused. If you can admit that you have no idea what you're doing, you're open to learn and get better.

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