To pass the time for my children on a recent road trip, I shared with them a game I used to play with my brother when we were their age. When we would see a cool car, truck or motorcycle, we would “call” it. Then it became ours, to be stored in a massive garage in our imagination.
“Look over there – I call that red corvette!”
It’s a fun game to play. It passes the time and also starts conversations, spawns new games, new ways to play and even new items to “call”. I was claiming the satellite dishes so that I could make everyone pay me for the radio and navigation systems for all their cars! After all, I am an entrepreneur.
We’ve all probably experienced how children fight over the same toy, and many times only want it when the other is playing with it. It’s an ongoing challenge when you have more than one child. If you are a parent, this is surely resonating with you.
If there is only one toy it can be shared, or at least the time with it can be shared.
Now, what really blew my mind was how my kids were fighting over the vehicles if the other claimed it first.
There would be no sharing. This was a fascinating dynamic. They’re freaking imaginary! Unlike physical toys, these cars could be duplicated and shared. The whole game is make believe and entirely in our imaginations. Yet still, they were fighting over who’s was who’s and not sharing!
There was REAL fighting and REAL crying….. over imaginary cars.
It could easily be imagined that they both owned that red Fire Truck or slick motorcycle and both store it in the garages of their minds.
Nope.. Fuck that, it’s mine.
What dynamic was at play here?
It represents itself a little differently in children, but its ego nonetheless. I have to be the first to have it. It’s mine. Mine is better, faster, sharper, stronger, etc. That being said, many adults aren’t much different.
Think about it. If a person has a Ferrari, ( or insert other cool or coveted thing here) and then their neighbor got one a couple of months later, more times than not the first thought would be ” I got one first” or “mine’s better” versus “Awesome man! Congratulations on your fancy new ride!” Right?
Better. Than. Yours. Me. First. Why? What is it that drives us to always want to one-up each other?
I’m telling you, it’s that damn ego.
We all have it, and there’s even a place for it in life. For the most part it’s a lot more prevalent in men. I believe that one of the main goals that we’re all supposed to accomplish here on Earth is to daily decrease and get our egos in check. Wouldn’t that be nice?
I can literally feel my ego bubbling up sometimes, so here are five things that have helped me get my ego in check – and I have in no way mastered it yet.
- Realizing that in general, things in life happen. Some in our control, some not so much.
- Allowing myself to go with the flow when “things happen”. This is huge.
- Not asserting my will on everything and everyone. Key shit here. Hope you’re paying attention.
- Realizing that if something said to me can be taken two ways, and one of those ways upsets me, I can choose to take it the other way.
- Being happy for others, their achievements and their happiness. This is paramount.
The sooner we catch it, the better. Better for us. Better for our relationships. Better for business. Better for life.