Ryan Holiday is the author of the book that I recommend and gift the most – ‘The obstacle is the way’. If you haven’t yet read this I urge you to do so. This week saw the launch of Ryan’s next book ‘Ego is the enemy’ an extract of the audio version was featured on the Tim Ferriss show which you can, and should, listen to by clicking here.
This brief extract contains many valuable insights for those of us that are trying to push on and carve a path for ourselves. It demonstrates how so many of us are held back by refusing to do work that we feel is beneath us, dragging our heels when we have to work for a superior or resenting the fact that others may appear to get credit for work that we feel we’ve done. This attitude of entitlement is somewhat endemic in our generation and I have certainly fallen prey to it at times. We’ve worked and studied hard, got the degrees and now we expect the world to come to us. I have a masters degree, I shouldn’t have to do admin…
It should come as no surprise that this attitude isn’t helpful for us. It reduces our opportunities to learn, build character and develop powerful networks. It also harms us by building frustration and resentment. We look at others who are doing well and get angry that we aren’t in their position when we believe we offer more than them.
The advice to combat all of the above is to do the following:
- Recognise that you aren’t as good as you need to be and you don’t know all you need to know.
- Ask yourself how you can help everyone that you encounter.
- Volunteer to do the work that no one else will do.
- Praise and encourage others that are succeeding.
These steps, whilst simple, are not necessarily easy to implement. They require a dose of humility and may seem like a step backwards rather than a step forwards. Understand and trust the system. Greatness comes from humble beginnings, it comes from groundwork. By following this system you will learn a huge amount, develop a reputation as being indispensable and develop extensive and powerful networks. You need all of these things to propel you to future greatness. Help yourself by helping others, trade your short term gratification for longer term payoffs.