A healthy amount of ego facilitates success and happiness. But how much is too much?
On the one hand, you have the Donald Trumps of the world. No one would argue that he has a big ego. You might admire his money, cars, planes, helicopters, penthouse, or his younger, attractive wife.
But it can easily be argued that he’s insecure.
He’ll never have enough money, attention, or admiration to take a break from his pursuit of those things. And his motivation is to impress himself and others.
Imagine being thirsty all of the time. You spend your time either thinking about water, searching for it, or drinking it, but it’s never enough. You’re still thirsty all the time.
Donald Trump will never have enough.
Contrast that with a Buddhist monk. He has nothing. He’s only permitted to own a bowl, a spoon, and a couple of robes. Money, sex, and entertainment are out of the question. Buddhist monks aren’t even allowed to prepare their own food. Someone else has to do it for them. They spend their days helping others, not helping themselves. But they are content. They require nothing else to be happy.
On the other hand, those with a big ego tend to be the same people that accomplish amazing things. They’re the people that make a billion dollars, invent technologies that changes society, and become CEOs or high-level politicians.
There’s another type of ego. The ego of confidence or being pleased with yourself.
Without some ego, you will lack the confidence to reach even a minimal level of success. Too much ego results in overconfidence and poor judgement.
What’s the solution?
It’s up to you. As with many things, for most people, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.