For many people, the word ‘ego’ is a negative subject and is often associated with prejudicial judgement – think Kanye. Contrary to this belief, I like to argue that ‘ego’ is good. Similar to Gordon Gecko and his views on ‘greed,’ ego is what drives you in life and essentially decides whether you succeed or fail. However, just like any person, your ego is easily influenced by his best friends and it is this influence, that ‘feeds’ your ego.
Resentment is one of your ego’s friends. However, unlike another best friend; ambition – who continually pushes your ego to succeed, resentment is that toxic friend your ego should have dumped years ago. Fortunately for you, resentment isn’t always around. He’s like one of those friends that blow in and out of town; and when he is in town, you two are inseparable such that it only gets worse from here.
Let me give you a classic example. Think back to a couple of years ago and find someone that you thought you were at a similar level with. It could be sporting ability, career success or even dollars in the bank account. Now think about what’s happened in the following two years and where you stand in comparison to said person. Chances are, if you chased an achievable long term goal, you will be further ahead of that person; especially if that person chased short term success. As a consequence you may now find that your relationship dynamic has now changed. Gone are the days where you saw each other as an equal and instead you now resemble an uncomfortable relationship. This is because egos ugly friend resentment, is in town.
This situation is magnified as your friend’s fast success is probably starting to burn out (if it hasn’t failed already). On the flip side, your longer term plans are starting to bear fruit and the gap between you two is beginning to widen at an exponential growth rate. The wider this gap gets, the deeper the resentment will get and the greater control resentment will have over your friend’s ego. Ultimately, instead of ambition fueling both of your egos, one person’s ego will be slowly getting poisoned by resentment.
I think resentment is one of the hardest things to admit. Most of us would rather build sideways with no further progress than to admit we made a shit decision and start again from a perceived ‘lower’ position. This is our ego being consumed by resentment, instead of listening to ambition; who knows that you need a few failures before you can have any true success. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix here and the only way this problem is solved is if ego can ditch itself of resentment.
Similar to the 5 stages of grief, everyone must work their way through the stages before they can reach the final stage of ‘acceptance.’ If this can be achieved, then and only then can ego truly shed itself from the clutches of resentment and allow ambition to drive it to success.
If this doesn’t apply directly to you, I’m sure you have a couple of friends that you know this is currently happening to. The sooner they figure this out, the sooner it will make everyone happier. Life is definitely too short to let resentment get in the way of ambition.
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