The purpose of this article is to bring to awareness three of the most devastating traps of ego-level consciousness, how they reinforce one another, and how to move past them intelligently.
Why? Because the more you stumble over (and become caught in) these traps, the more you diminish your own individual empowerment to overcome them and pursue your own growth path.
While it’s important to know the unique differences between ourselves and others, things quickly go south once we start using said differences as a reason to crowbar ourselves apart from one another. Our ego then oversteps its boundaries and begins to poison our experience with inverted illusions of self-importance and separation – all at the cost of true understanding and universal connectivity.
It’s very important not to get too caught up in obsessing over whether or not “you’re doing it right” (another huge ego trap), but it’s equally as important to become aware of these traps, and how they influence our daily reality and interactions with one another on the most subtle of levels. Understanding your relationship to these spiritual snares will make all the difference in the integrity and success of your own personal growth path.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that I’m intentionally taking jabs at your ego throughout this article in an attempt to raise your awareness of how these three areas connect – and thus infect – your daily experiences.
So lighten up! Let’s have some fun with this, and grow ourselves a little bit in the process! Learning to take life less seriously is the first step to truly freeing yourself from the very things that are keeping you stuck.
So, how ego-minded are you?
1. You Assume You Know More Than The Next Guy
Just log onto Facebook, YouTube, or any internet forum – and you’ll witness hordes of people arguing in circles and correcting one another. Politics, religion, sports, and musical preferences are ripe and fertile grounds for insisting that your viewpoint is the ultimate in logical integrity…while simultaneously insisting that anyone and everyone who can’t see it/doesn’t agree with you is a moron.
Everything is about one-up-manship…except there’s no actual competition going on. Notice how people can’t just simply and politely inform one another of things each may be missing. No, they have to forcefully tell you WHY you’re wrong, make a personal attack, and then conclude that the world wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in “if everyone were on their level”.
There’s no prize for who can piss the furthest…but there are plenty of people who will try to convince you that they hold the trophy.
This “contest” is a dead end and an exercise in ego futility, and does nothing to advance positive, constructive, and mutually liberating agendas and ideas.
It’s very easy to think that people have a screw or two loose because they don’t view the world in the same way you do. Other people’s choices may sometimes appear to make little or no logical sense to you – so you judge the absolute hell out of them. “How can that guy think like that?! Doesn’t he realize he could do so much more if only he’d…”
Have you ever caught yourself doing this?
If you have, good for you! This is a step in the direction of personal progress, expansion, and growth.
If you haven’t, it might be time to work on raising your awareness a bit.
Harsh judgement of others is a direct reflection of your dissatisfaction with your own life choices.
How much sense would it make to get upset and defensive against someone for how they choose to make a sandwich?
“Oh my god kid, are you a moron? Didn’t you go to school? Did your mom drop you on your head? How do you not know to put the lettuce on BEFORE the tomatoes? This is why we can’t have nice things SMH”.
You could literally substitute this example for about 95% of what passes for “discussion” on the internet. Now THAT’S why we can’t have nice things (or sandwiches, according to this guy ; )).
Think about all the other strangers and people you see daily that don’t raise flags within you. There’s a reason for this, and it all starts with some deep introspection, and humbling yourself to the fact that you’re choosing to make note of and exacerbate petty personal differences. You can’t even perceive that which you’re not in resonance with on some level of your being.
The Solution: start practicing the art of becoming less defensive and more understanding of your “opponent” (I use that term loosely) and their position. This takes self-discipline and control; something a lot of people (especially on the internet) lack. This lacking carries over and infects all areas of your life. Your state of consciousness isn’t compartmentalized; it doesn’t just apply when you’re at work, with friends, or browsing YouTube. Your dominant state of being is what’s perpetuating your experiences.
Your state of being is integral to how your life unfolds, and getting caught up in these “pissing contests” does nothing but “piss away” your mental and emotional energy that could be better used elsewhere. When you work on becoming more understanding of other people’s harsh reactions toward simple, trivial things – you expand your consciousness. You are not “weak” for letting people rant and rave at you. Reactivity, defensiveness, and insistence on your opinion are all personality weaknesses.
The ideas that are going to change the world aren’t going to be argued about in YouTube comments. They aren’t going to come to fruition by ramming heads like farm animals, either. They are going to be discussed, strategized, and applied by people who realize how much of a waste of time all of the above is.
2. You’re Prejudice Against Wealthy People You Don’t Even Know
Here’s one a lot of people will probably get angry over, and that should tell you something right off the bat:
If being wealthy is enough to cause you to be suspicious or judgmental toward someone – especially someone you haven’t even met personally – you might be occupying the very place you’re accusing said person of occupying.
The assumption that “all wealthy people are greedy, inconsiderate douche-bags” is a direct reflection of your relationship to wealth…and most likely the main reason why it avoids you (despite your best efforts to acquire it).
This is the exact same response people have toward the opposite sex when they have trouble with dating. “All men/woman are selfish pigs/whores who do nothing but lie and cheat.” Have you ever thought that perhaps the way you carry and present yourself gives off the vibe of insecurity, and thus catalyzes these types of experiences? Of course not! It’s everyone ELSE’S fault!”
It’s very natural to feel there’s a lot of injustice in this world, but it’s quite another to scapegoat and roundup all strangers into one category – and then accuse them of being less human for being wealthy. The news and media aren’t doing anyone a favor with this, either. Ratings and views soar via online articles with provocative titles and content with the sole purpose of acting as “click-bait” to bring up ad revenue and shares. THOSE are the types of things that should aggravate you – not the people they’re accusing.
If you “hate the player”, you’re projecting your own life frustrations onto complete strangers.
If you “hate the game”, you’re insinuating that people shouldn’t be able to better themselves financially, simply because you don’t understand how to generate money and income in the ways that they do.
What both of these reactions have in common is they remove and excuseYOU from the equation entirely. This is pure abandonment of personal responsibility in the long run. The very solution to your problem is the one thing you’re trying to avoid having to face. How ridiculous is that?!
This is a lose-lose situation that many people foolishly assume is “the reality” of the world. The only reality is your own stubbornness and refusal to educate yourself on better ways to live alongside with money, while projecting this frustration onto complete strangers in order to validate your anger for not prioritizing your time more intelligently. Again, how ridiculous is that?!
I’m willing to bet you’re “much more wealthy” in the amount of time you waste away in the Facebook, social media, reality TV shows, sports, and trivial water cooler drama talk department than any of the people you accuse of “being lucky and taking advantage of poor people all the time”.
Your “currency of preference” is a direct reflection of how you choose to invest your time.
Now for the growth lesson here: when you focus on what you don’t have, or what someone else has/is doing, or “how unfairly the deck is stacked against you” (my personal favorite self-limiting belief, which took me years to overcome), all you’re doing is diminishing your power and ability to leverage what you’ve already got. Everyone has something they can leverage to better their situation – and I do mean everyone. You have something within you right now that’s of incredible value to tons of people. The only things is, you’ve been conditioned to ignore it in favor of fear-based (ego-driven) thinking and self-preservation.
If you insist that I’m delusional and “out of touch with the real world, and people who have to work three jobs and still be poor”, then this final one’s for you:
3. You Believe Everyone is Lucky…Except For You
This is ironically selfishness disguised as humility. You genuinely observe people from all countries, environments, and walks of life making their dreams a reality via hard work and persistence. You’ve seen it time and time again: rags to riches, entrepreneurial breakthroughs, and community-like revolutions. Despite all of this evidence…you’re convinced that hard work and persistence will not work for you, and thus doesn’t apply to you.
This is the metaphysical equivalent of spitting in the face of reality and all of creation.
This is also the true definition of self-delusion.
You’re embedded within and connected to everything else. How could you be any less connected to the source energy (which is provided to all living things) than anyone else – especially those who started off in worse situations than you, with less than you have right now?
The answer is your thinking is infected with adverse social conditioning.
The solution: recognize that you already have a life that most people gladly wish they could live.
It’s very easy to become blinded to opportunity when your focus is on what everyone else is doing, instead of focusing on what you’ve already got, and how to leverage those resources to the best of your present ability.
Imagine a wealthy person (such as in #2) complaining that they can’t lose weight, despite having tons of money to pay the best trainers and dietitians in the world. “What the hell is that guy doing?! He has all the money in the world, and STILL can’t get fit? When will he realize that just because you have money doesn’t mean you have everything – or anything that truly matters?!”
I’m going to stop right there and let you do the math on that one.
The truth is, deep down you’re terrified of seeing what you’re actually made of.
You’re horrified of what you might find. It’s not so much that you fear failing. It’s what it would mean if you actually succeeded, and how that would cause your life to change. Change makes people uneasy, and when you’re not aware of what you’re doing to yourself -positive change and negative change become indistinguishable – and thus both are perceived as a personal threat.
What would people think of you? What would your family and friends say if you started taking the initiative to change your life in the ways you desire? What will your spouse say if…
All of the above “what if” statements can be reduced to two simple words: I’m scared.
These “what if” statements are the tell-tale signs of self-limiting beliefs that need to be obliterated, so you can start living like an actual human being instead of a fear-marketing-guzzling-
There’s a HUGE difference between abandoning responsibility, and claiming total responsibility.
Most people will view anything other than working a job they hate to pay bills for things they don’t need as “abandoning responsibility”. Conditioning is so powerful, it makes people believe the exact opposite of the truth…especially when large groups of people are all behaving similarly. The truth is, you’re already responsible. You’re just being responsible for the wrong things, of which the outcome does nothing for you on the levels that matter most.Maybe it’s time to ease up on the insistence that living in circles is your ultimate destiny, and start pushing back a bit via your true goals and aspirations.
One day, you’re not going to be alive anymore. When that day comes, it will be too late to make the changes that deep down, you already know you want to make. Don’t spend your finite life arguing with strangers on the internet, blaming rich people, and ignoring your current resources because you displace your priorities out of fear. Your life begins anew each and every morning with the personal choice to begin changing your mind.