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Why Ego is The Greatest Opponent to Your Creativity and Success (And How to Fight Back)

Ryan Holiday

"One does not need to be an egotistical maniac to be successful. 

This is one of the most misleading and destructive myths in all of Western culture."

Ryan Holiday

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Why Ego is The Greatest Opponent to Your Creativity and Success (And How to Fight Back)

Why Ego is The Greatest Opponent to Your Creativity and Success (And How to Fight Back)

https://ryanholiday.net/why-ego-is-greatest-opponent-your-creativity-success-fight-back/

ryanholiday.net

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Key Ideas

The Ego is confusing

The Ego is a confusing paradox. Many are in agreement that ego was bad, that it destroyed creativity and happiness, that they knew plenty of toxic egomaniacs who had wrecked themselves. But they still think Ego is important.

Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday

"One does not need to be an egotistical maniac to be successful. 

This is one of the most misleading and destructive myths in all of Western culture."

Trouble starts with Ego

It starts where our notion of ourselves and the world grows so strong that it begins to distort the reality which surrounds us. 

The ego has then succeeded in completely separating us from the world.

The Essence of Creativity

It is a deep and continuous connection to the world around us. The Ego disconnects us from reality, stifling creativity.

Confidence vs Ego

  • Confidence is based on what is real and it's earned. It does not alienate us from others.
  • Ego is based on delusion and wishful thinking. It is artifice and makes us self-centered.

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Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve ...

Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

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We Are Born Creative

Human beings are born with a capacity to reflect, evaluate, to come up with new ideas, and find new connections. We think such creative abilities are for a chosen few, but we all have it. We may ha...

Decades of Wrong Beliefs

Productivity requires continuous output, while creativity is a non-linear, messy, disjointed process that needs to be unstructured.

We have decades of exposure to historical and cultural beliefs on how work should be and what it means to be successful, so it is hard for us to understand creativity.

Ignite The Fire

To be creative, we have let our brains loose. The mind needs rest and time every day to daydream, imagine and get intentionally bored. Letting our minds free is an incredibly important cognitive exercise.

Take the time to expose yourself in diverse subjects, things that inspire you and dissolve boundaries can foster creativity. Identify and let go of wrong beliefs and outdated stories you tell yourself every day.

The +, -, = system
 Everyone needs to work with someone better than them, equal to them and someone who they can teach.
Taking small steps

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better. It’s about the small steps you can take each day to make a tiny bit of improvement.

Beat resistance
The biggest enemy of progress lies within us: The voice that tells us to work tomorrow, that we are not ready, that we are not good enough.

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