- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group (14 June 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591847818
- ISBN-13: 978-1591847816
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 18.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Customer Reviews: 1,817 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ego Is the Enemy Hardcover – 14 June 2016
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--Steven Pressfield, author of the New York Times bestseller The War of Art "Whether you're starting out or starting over, you'll find something to steal here."
--Austin Kleon, author of the New York Times bestseller Steal Like An Artist
"This is a book I want every athlete, aspiring leader, entrepreneur, thinker and doer to read. Ryan Holiday is one of the most promising young writers of his generation."
--George Raveling, Hall of Fame Basketball coach, Nike's Director of International Basketball
"I see the toxic vanity of ego at play every day and it never ceases to amaze me how often it wrecks promising creative endeavors. Read this book before it wrecks you or the projects and people you love. Consider it as urgently as you do a proper workout regimen and eating right. Ryan's insights are priceless."
--Marc Ecko, founder of Ecko Unltd and Complex
"I don't have many rules in life, but one I never break is: If Ryan Holiday writes a book, I read it as soon as I can get my hands on it."
--Brian Koppelman, screenwriter and director, Rounders, Ocean's Thirteen and Billions
"In his new book Ryan Holiday attacks the greatest obstacle to mastery and true success in life--our insatiable ego. In an inspiring yet practical way, he teaches us how to manage and tame this beast within us so that we can focus on what really matters--producing the best work possible."
--Robert Greene, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Mastery "We're often told that to achieve success, we need confidence. With refreshing candor, Ryan Holiday challenges that assumption, highlighting how we can earn confidence by pursuing something bigger than our own success."
--Adam Grant, author of the New York Times bestsellers Originals and Give and Take "Once again Ryan Holiday has laid down the gauntlet for readers willing to challenge themselves with the tough questions of our time. Every reader will find truths that are pertinent to each of our lives. Ego can be the enemy if we are unarmed with the cautionary insights of history, scripture, and philosophy. As was said to St. Augustine more than a thousand years ago, 'pick it up and read'; for to not do so is to allow the enemy to bring despair."
--Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew On Call" and "Love Line" "Ryan Holiday reminds us that the real success is in the journey and learning process."
--Lori Lindsey, former U.S. Women's National Team soccer player "I would like to rip out every page and use them as wallpaper so I could be reminded constantly of the humility and work it takes to truly succeed. In the margins of my copy, I have scrawled the same message over and over--'pre-Gold.' Reading this inspiring book brought back me back to the humility and work ethic it took to win the Olympics."
--Chandra Crawford, Olympic Gold Medalist "What a valuable book for those in positions of authority! It has made me a better judge."
--The Honorable Frederic Block, United States District Judge and author of Disrobed
"It's rare that I finish a book then immediately reread it, this time with a yellow marker in hand...I can't recommend this book highly enough."
--Kevin Rose, entrepreneur and technology investor
"In an age when self-promotion and celebrity are glorified to the hilt and 'hero' gets overused, Ryan Holiday's book is a reminder that the biggest impediment to achievement is often ourselves. Holiday retells stories of the famous and not so famous that will both inspire you and stop you in your tracks. This is a book to savor by reading it in increments so the power of the examples sinks in, leaving time for healthy reflection. If the rat race of modern life has you feeling burned out, Ego is the Enemy just might help you view philosophy as anything but a relic of the ancient Greeks."
--Edith Chapin, executive editor at NPR News "Removing the ego is a daily struggle but it feels a little easier after reading this."
--Martellus Bennett, NFL Tight End, Super Bowl Champion
About the Author
Ryan Holiday is one of the world's foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. He is a sought-after speaker, strategist, and the author of many bestselling books including The Obstacle Is the Way; Ego Is the Enemy; The Daily Stoic; and the #1 New York Times bestseller Stillness Is the Key. His books have been translated into over 30 languages and read by over two million people worldwide. He lives outside Austin, Texas, with his family.
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Top reviews from Australia
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There are also a few points I simply disagree with. One is the negative view of anyone who jumps from idea to idea or project to project. This isn't a necessarily a reflection of egotistical behaviour, which is implied by the author. Any study of personality profiles like Myers Briggs can explain this tendancy with some personalities. I am an INTP and this trait is common with my personality type. The Belbin look at team roles based on profiling also highlights that certain people are plants or shapers of new ideas, but rarely follow through and are completer-finishers. It's not a 'fault', but it is a characteristic or behaviour. Good teams balance the roles as described by Belbin.
Another point was that anyone that needs recognition is egotistical. Again, this isn't necessarily egotistical, but points to different personality types that need feedback.
Maybe I misunderstood the author, but I'm not sure Ryan is explaining himself well enough.
Holiday's pleadings in the book read like a counter-cultural rebel speech. The world operates far from the perceptions and ideals of many used as illustrations, but that doesn't mean we all need to get on the same wagon.
I found the many examples of people doing small things for big reasons and battling their egos refreshing in the way that Holiday raises them out of obscurity and the shadows into something to aspire to; not to be like the person or do what they did, but to align one's own standards and integrity with the strivings of so many others and find solace in your own validation.
A friends list, post likes and all the other ways we crave the attention of others just begets more action to maintain that feeling. I'll be putting this book on my 're-read often' list.
Indirectly this book has a spiritual quality as many of the traits Holiday discusses can be found among the truly saintly people who inhabit the world with us.
This book should give anyone pause for reflection about themselves and how they act on the world. You don't have to be a world beater to gain serious benefit from this piece of work.
I give this book four stars because I like it a lot. What would make me love it is if it included clear strategies for dealing with the false ego that interferes with much of what we could truly achieve as individuals.
That said my overwhelming feeling is that by studying this book and applying learning I am in much better shape to defeat my enemy and to quote the author again be "humble in my aspirations, gracious in my success and resilient in my failures"
This book illustrates the benefits that can be wrought when ego is removed from the process. That alone make it a very worthwhile investment of your time, however it doesn't contain a magical formula to make everything perfect. In essence, it opens your eyes to the possibilities that can be achieved when ego is subtracted from the situation.
It may sound simple, but that simple idea is not always something that can be executed simply. However, understanding and enlightenment are always the first steps to a better outcome. At the very least this book should open your eyes to something that prevents a lot of people living the life they want.
To you and myself I say: STOP! Do not miss on the opportunities that come in a problem like wrapping. Do the Work the best you can and procrastinate on giving up!
Highly recommend you going through the book. To keep sweeping the floor to ensure Ego has not gathered under your feet and you are walking all over it again and again.
This just the start of your self inspection of Ego.
Top reviews from other countries
It makes you feel resentful and angry, like your boss isn't recognising your greatness. That eats you up inside and only makes you upset and stressed all the time.
Instead, Holiday teaches you the lesson, through many stories and examples, that you'll actually feel better and perform better by recognising your ego, catching when it tries to rear its ugly head, and focusing on what you can do for others instead.
This book has had an immeasurably positive impact on my life. I work harder and generally feel much happier in everyday life. Thank you Ryan.
Second, it goes on and on about some peripheral characters from American history without mentioning many much more relevant people who tackled and defeated the ego throughout history.
Third, nicely wrapped up between the lines, still gives an impression that success is to "make it big" a.k.a. the American dream. It just needs to be done tactically and with patience, that is pretty much the main advice.
Fourth, politics again. I was wondering when I would read something against the Russian President Vladimir Putin. It came on page 146. Of course!
Final: anyone serious about stoicism and philosophy in general will find this book rather silly. I regret the paper it was printed on and am currently using the book to level a table in the garage. Fits perfectly.
I first read this 4 years ago following my brother's strong recommendation. As a result, I have aimed to be more 'balanced'- a concept I am still trying to understand- which has meant at work keeping more calm under the body when dealing with stressful situations and being more grateful for every day things.
But it also has made me less driven- which upon reflection today- I am not sure is particularly good.
There is a case for passion (though the book states passion is retarded). Passion helps wake me up in the morning- see that there are struggles ahead- but part of this is to drive myself really hard- and with this persistence sometimes my best solutions come (for example when writing essays- I often discard idea after idea until one is reached not through being balanced but by real struggle). Perhaps one of the best things in life is to solve a problem that you initially thought was difficult- and that is through really applying yourself and believing you can do this (whether you can or not). Sometimes it really does help to build one's confidence by telling yourself- by really going for whatever activity (being able to drive) with raw power and doing whatever you can- then you are able to master the problem. You can do this!
Also- perhaps to think in each moment in life whether one is doing the most balanced thing- is paralyzing. Rather than doing the thing you love, letting this take you wherever, and end up in a new spontaneous place? This level of balance sounds soul sucking. And I have felt this.
My first impression of Ego is the enemy is that the book is near flawless. But over time, as well as seeing the most recent film of Little Women- has really shifted this. in Little Women, the main character is extremely passionate about writing- and I think it is that which is part of the beauty of the character- and in addition that passion I feel must have contributed to her great plays.
What I think now is one rather has enthusiasm than none at all. Perhaps I might choose passion over balance- but the best formula may be that driving passion occasionally being tempered by other values.
Looking forward to your comments
Broken into three section - aspiration; success; and failure - each of these are then broken into six to eight short chapters where each is a lesson. Each one I couldn’t help myself from stopping to take notes and underline quotes. There so much in here.
It also just made me feel good. All the anguish you feel about pressures evaporated when I saw how silly some of the things I think and ways I feel are.
If you’re wondering why only four stars? A lot of the references were American that aren’t known so well outside of America so they didn’t work for me. Just a small thing.