Personal development Exercises
The role of ego in personal development
Acting like a giant control panel, our ego can direct how we interpret everything that goes on in our daily experience. We know that our perception of any event will determine what we get from that experience. Was it positive or negative? Was it an opportunity or setback? The answers depend upon our perception.
It’s because we are way too close to see it!
You see, our ego is that part of the mind containing consciousness and memory. It is intimately involved in the process of controlling, planning, and conforming to reality. As far as we are concerned, our ego is the same as our individual self. It’s who we are as a person separate from our environment.
Because ego sees us as separate from everything else, it tries to shape our perception accordingly. This means that it acts as a filter for everything we are exposed to. Our version of reality is slanted by the ego’s agendas.
What this means to our personal development
It means that the state of our ego can greatly enhance our personal development, or it can create an insurmountable obstacle to personal development. It can open the door to a rewarding and fulfilling life, or it can slam the door of personal development and confine us to a life of self imposed limits.
That’s a lot of influence, don’t you think? Especially for something that tends to operate behind a curtain of personal invisibility. I say personal invisibility because often times others can clearly see what mode our ego is in, even when we can’t.
My firsthand encounter with the big E
There was a time when I was in the clutches of my personally invisible ego. People around me could see that I was a control freak, and they often tried to bring it to my attention. What was my reaction? I honestly couldn’t see it. Worse than that, I really couldn’t comprehend why they would even hint at such a thing.
I remember that a good friend at the time would often tell me “you need to let go!” And my response was always “let go of what?” I honestly couldn’t understand why he would say that.
The scene is set
Sometimes, life’s lessons have a way of sneaking up on us when we least expect it. That’s exactly what happened to me. I think our daughter was about nine years old at the time, and I have her to thank for ripping back the veil and exposing me to myself.
One day I was determined to finally teach her a lesson about keeping her room clean (go ahead and laugh). So I sent her to her room and told her not to come out until it was all cleaned up. For some kids that would have seemed like a punishment, but our daughter loved being in her room. It wasn’t even a hardship, let alone a punishment. So, after several hours I decided to check on her progress.