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The ego is like shrink wrap

September 15th, 2010 Kevin Leave a comment Go to comments

What is shrink wrap?

Shrink wrap is the clear plastic material that surrounds and protects products that we buy. We usually remove it when we get home because it can get in the way of the product’s use.

Example please?

The best example is a CD of songs or software that comes in a case and has “shrink wrap” around it. The shrink wrap protects the product until purchase. Once we buy it, we take the shrink wrap off because it’s no longer needed.

What do you mean by ego?

“Ego,” as used here, is our notion of self, as contrasted with others. It includes the idea of personality, that is, the type of person we think we are when we consciously consider it.

Explain what you mean by the ego being like shrink wrap?

It turns out that the ego provides little protection in our modern lives. Worse, people can see right through it, like shrink wrap. Often, they think it hinders other people. For instance, we have all heard before: “He’s got a big ego!”, said in a not so happy tone. Or, “She is so egotistical it is hard to talk with her about anything that does not involve her.”

So what can we do with this “human shrink wrap,” this thing we call the ego?

We all have the right to remove our egos (or at least calm them down). Mostly our egos have served their purpose; if we are not careful, they can get in the way of our best performances.

I thought I needed to have my ego to do my best work?

You are not alone in your thinking. Commonly, people think the ego is necessary to perform well. That is simply not what the research suggests.

Oh really, what does the research on best work, or best performances, say?

The research suggests that our best performances, or peak performances, happen without self-awareness. In other words, they happen without the ego being present at all.

So why do we think we need our ego to get through challenging performances?

Beats me. All I know is what the research shows: if you have your ego present as you perform there is a high chance you will not peak perform.

My ego gets in the way of my peak performance?

You got that right.

So it’s like shrink wrap?

Exactly.

And I can remove it and be better off?

That’s right.

Are we done?

Yes, that’s the point of this post. Getting over your ego is the first step in getting outstanding, over the top performances from here on out.

Good luck!

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