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Mindful Leadership

How to De-Stress: Don’t Let Your Ego Rule Your World

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Allowing your ego to dictate how you think and feel can be an enormous source of stress.  But what does that really mean?  And how does that happen?

The ego is not who or what you really are.  The ego is merely a combination of habitual patterns that have evolved over a lifetime.  These patterns dictate how you think and feel moment by moment.  They create enormous pressure because they cause you to live up to expectations that may make no sense or be in any way useful.

Here’s an example, some around you may think that having a particular car or a certain size of home is important.  In fact, that view may be so prevalent that you consider it to be true.  It may also be that certain positions or organizations are considered to have greater status, or certain schools for your children may be more desirable.  Certain vacations may seem a necessity, and the list goes on.

The point is not whether any of this is right or wrong.  That is irrelevant.  The point is that if these things matter to you only because others think they are important, but you are potentially ambivalent about them, then that is “the ego ruling your world”.  And that, over time causes great stress.  It may cause you to move further away from what really matters to you.  Then suddenly you wake up one day and don’t know who you are.

A Mindful way to deal with this to examine your “wants” or “requirements” in life and say, “does this matter to me”?  Am I doing this for myself?  If others did not consider this or that important, would it still be of interest to me?  And as you ask these questions, pay attention to the message your body is giving you.  Does the body become happy and excited, or does it feel burdened?  By listening and watching the body you will become increasingly aware of who and what you are, and what matters most to you.

And that means that “you rule your world”, not your ego.


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