What is ego? The disadvantages of having an ego, how to tackle the problem of ego
“The weak are dominated by their ego, the wise dominate their ego, and the intelligent are in a constant struggle against their ego.” ― Hamza Yusuf
Egoism is the theory that an individual acts by the motivation and goal of one’s action. In other words, egoism is when people are motivated by their interests and desires. It is a drive to serve ourselves and the I, the self. It is an idea that humans act for their self-interest.
Egoism has two types, descriptive and normative. The prior variant proposes that people must be motivated only by their desires or interests and no other way. The latter stipulates that the agent ought to promote the self above other values. Egoism comes from the Latin term “ego,” meaning “I” in English. Egoism should not be confused with egotism. The latter means a psychological overvaluation of one’s importance or one’s activities.
There are causes or reasons for people to act. But for whom, or what, do or should they act. Is a person’s action for their benefit, in the name of God, nature, or for the good of the planet? Does someone act strictly for one’s benefit and disregard others’ interests? But then can a person act for someone else’s benefits by disregarding their benefits? It all comes down to free will.
However, some philosophers argue that a person has no choice in such matters since the person’s action may be a result of prior experience making the belief in choice, an illusion. But if we were to agree in an arbitrary situation where God or nature has no sway, then the person indeed has a choice, and now will that person use it for his benefit or someone else?
This comes down to one’s morals. Should a person pursue their interests as a student, or should they reject them and pursue those of others? And to what extent are either of the actions morally praiseworthy? No matter how fashionably we dress, at the end of the day, we are all animals at the top of the food chain. Besides, the universe rides on survival of the fittest. Students should be taught techniques and strategies for overcoming egos.
So naturally, as students, we have a tendency to prioritise our advantages and interests over those of others. But that does not mean pushing someone under the bus for our profit is justified in any sense. Egoism in itself is good and bad. It’s like beer. A pint can keep kidney stones away while a case can easily give you a potbelly.
Knowing your value as a student and what you merit is therefore a smart idea. You then know what you want to achieve and how to get it. Thus, keeping egoism in check might help students see clearly. That is as long as you are not completely selfish. Selfishness cannot be hidden and too much egoism can strongly smell like selfishness. If one is interested only in one’s benefits with complete disregard for others’ interests, you may get your benefits but there’s no guarantee it will be digested.
In other words, Egoism is self-centeredness. If a person is full of himself and selfish in his thoughts and actions, then such a person is considered to be full of egoism. Meanwhile, an egotist is a person who is insensitive to the feelings of others. He also is all about himself.
Finally, a student with an excessive amount of ego is more concerned with maintaining his self-esteem. He is more sensitive when it comes to pride and position. The student won’t lower oneself because their ego will stand in the way. This in turn can be very bad for one’s career or business.
We as students need to be social in order to succeed in society. It requires us to compromise, bend over, get hurt and yet give back a smile. Historically, it has been proved that the success we have so far achieved is because of our working as a team or for the benefit of the whole rather than the self. So, if one thinks that he is better than others and lets that thought ride his mind, then chances are that his egoism goes egoist.
No company or people like to work with someone who is completely self-centred. Working with someone with a high ego incurs more loss than profit. Besides, the present work culture is to work as a team and if someone in the team works for his selfish agenda, it can lead to self-sabotage. Therefore, having self-respect and self-esteem is important for students, but without the protection of humility, an individual’s ego will construct his castle on sand.