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The Ego

It is difficult to talk about human beings without talking about their ego. How do we  then recognize the ego that lies dormant or is very soundly awake in each and everyone of us? The answer is quite easy: the ego is a capricious child who needs constant attention and desires to shine in everyone’s eyes, who suffers no refusal, no frustration, or else risking to trigger epic episodes of anger.

The Ego is a series of primary code lines in our brain that rules our desires during our early childhood. Ego’s favorite expression is “I want”:

I want to be beautiful
I want to have power
I want to be wealthy
I want to be loved
I want to be admired
I want to be famous
I want to possess

All of these “I want”s are not related to actions we can take in our lives to create happiness or well-being, but are affirmed statements which, while bringing short-term pleasure, are only imaginary promises of happiness.

How many times, as children, did we wish for a toy that we thought would fill us with happiness and fill our days with all the more wonderful activities? Once we received this toy as a gift, wasn’t the pleasure of the first moments quickly replaced by a return to other activities or even to boredom and forgetfulness of the so much desired toy which was finally only one toy among many others and not a magic lamp?

If we take celebrity, for instance, since it is at the heart of our societies, why does it so much attract young people? Apart from the easy money to which it is generally assimilated, celebrity is presented to us, through the prism of screens, as a perpetual moment of intense pleasure or amusement for the person who experiences it, suggesting that each moment of this person’s life contains the same pleasure, here confused with the notion of happiness, since this is the only moments we are witnessing.

Therefore, young people think, superficially, that if they are famous, their life will be an uninterrupted succession of moments of fun and easy pleasures. If the moments of doubt and anxiety in celebrities’s lives, the insults on their social networks, are not shown on screen, it implies that fame prevents those incidents from happening… But, then, if celebrity is a magic formula for happiness, why do so many people in the spotlight use drugs, turn to alcohol or commit suicide? Shouldn’t the infinite happiness that stardom confers immunize them against grief?

Our most of the time insatiable and impossible to satisfy ego – because there will never be enough pleasures available on earth to achieve this miracle – is also, obviously, our greatest source of frustration. We are never beautiful enough, never loved enough and therefore always frustrated, unhappy or even angry against the whole world for bearing such an injustice. Fame and money can’t change that, unfortunately.

In our societies, the ego prevails at the expense our inner selves and human values such as love or benevolence which are sufficient in themselves. The new heroes offered by our current cultures are ephebes (models, influencers, Reality TV participants…) – thereby making us believe that we can be rich and famous (and therefore happy) by the simple fact of being young and beautiful – polemicists engaged in endless pointless debates while only listening to the sound of their own voice, wealthy and/or powerful men and women who show how success can only be achieved with no regards whatsoever for other human beings… These people systematically put themselves into the light, because ego does not know humility, medias feed on them,  because they’re already in the light and therefore an easy target, and they thus become  “admirable” shiny objects in our eyes, the sad “ heroes” of modern times, leaving in the shadow the inspiring people who work daily for their community without displaying it in broad daylight.

Our societies are based on a “short-term profits” operating mode and easy and elusive pleasures such as cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, drugs, sexuality… All these activities that trigger a small secretion of serotonin – also called hormone of pleasure – in our brain are available on design to help us undergo our humanly “poor condition” forcing us to take jobs that make us unhappy, in which we hardly ever exercise our talents, enduring a pointless life while waiting for a death that will supposedly grant us access to a well-deserved paradise.

Very often, out of habit, we confuse small series of pleasures with happiness. How many times have I heard in my life that we can’t be happy all the time and that we should just enjoy the little moments of happiness in our life without asking for more? Acknowledging happiness when it presents itself in our lives should not prevent us from aspiring to more of its visits nor from shifting our lives to allow them.

While it is important to know how to recognize and be grateful for even small moments of happiness, it is indeed very possible to live in a state of almost permanent happiness ; in that case, it is the rare little bits of sadness that come taint our happiness, not the other way around. Happiness is a state of mind, a conviction and, above all, the whisper of the soul and not the thundering cry of the ego.

Life is a creation orchestrated by us for us in which we can create our dream life full of beautiful achievements, happiness, love and moments of real ecstasy. We simply have to determine what makes us happy, really happy, what type of person we want to be in this world, what type of values we want to defend, and build our life and our projects accordingly without ever being scared because the only danger we are facing is to be truely happy. The rest (success, money…) will inevitably follow if it is not our actions primary aim, only the logical follow-up.

For those who’d rather read long texts on paper, you can download this article in PDF.
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GClaudel4@Luc Naville BD

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