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Book Review: The Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

The Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday is self-help cum philosophical book that includes a variety of practical-looking cases in the form of stories and examples, from fields like history to philosophy and everything in between.


The book, first in the place, serves ambitious people. It says if you really value your goals and objectives, the biggest obstacle is you ‘Yourself’. That is your ego that stops you from lowering down to get humble and learning in life. It is now a proven fact that our lives are misguided by our ego more than instincts. As a matter of fact, ego is the root cause of problems that frequented us in everyday life.

The author relays the importance of being an egoless life via different situations and makes us grasp that our ego prevents us from improving by telling us that we don’t need to improve. This is the main reason behind our unsuccessful career/life, even if we get it, we lose it after a short period of time. Another great point that the author recommends that one should keep checking his/her limitations and be aware of them. This helps in a pragmatic approach to lead a meaningful life. Too much ego hurts and we thus we fail to learn like a student. It is ego that ends our learning process- be an egoless student ever.

One meaning full excerpt from the book, there are many throughout the book.

To Be or To do?
If your purpose is something larger than you – to accomplish something, to prove something to yourself - then suddenly everything becomes both easier and more difficult. Easier in the sense that you know now what you need to do and what is important to you. The other “choices” wash away, as they aren’t really choices at all. They are distractions. It’s about the doing, not the recognition. Easier in the sense that you don’t need to compromise. Harder because each opportunity – no matter how gratifying or rewarding must be evaluated along strict guidelines:

Does this help me do what I have set out to do?
Does this allow me to do what I need to do?
Am I being selfish or selfless?
Think about this the next time you face that choice:
Do I need this? Or is it really about ego? Are you ready to make the right decisions? Or do the prizes still glitter off in the distance?

To be or to do – life is a constant roll call. The author in the end emphasis on the need of love. It is love that ends ego and makes us believe in positivity and productivity. The book is highly recommended to all who believe in instead of taking what we have for granted, we’d be better to spend our time preparing for the spells of fate that inevitably happen in life by putting challenges and hindrances in our way to success.

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