Ego is the Enemy Ryan Holiday

I listened to this book via audible. An I would love the honor to share a brief bit about my takeaways from this book.

First of all, from this book, one of the most interesting stories to me was of Kirk Hammmet of Metallica.  While he had made it into the band and was already a pretty stellar guitar player, he had also continued to take classes.  He studied with Joe Satriani who if I am not mistaken also worked with Steve Vai, another amazing guitarist from the same era.  The immediate impact of is that I was just blown away that someone who was already so good at something continued to move forward and learn more and was not so hung up in himself and his abilities.

This, of course, will lead us to the primary line of the book.  That indeed, the Ego is the Enemy.  The ego can raise its head up and place itself in the way of our learning or continued learning.  For if we already believe that we are good enough or have learned enough to continue through life without the need to learn anymore, it inhibits progress.  There is always room for improvement.

Other stories that are told throughout this book include the infamous Delorean tale where he had so much trouble managing the money and finances that he eventually tried to right the ship with a $60M drug deal.  Which went south..

He speaks of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe who while they won multiple championships with each other still never were able to get along.  O’Neal would complain about Kobe, and eventually, Kobe got so fed up with it that he requested to have O’Neal traded.  If the two of them were able to put their ego and their pride to the side, who knows what they could have accomplished on the court, not to mention the types of role models they could have been.

He speaks often of General Sherman & Abe Lincoln and speaks a bit to Ben Franklin’s ability to fall prey to pride/ego – Ryan recounts a story of Ben Franklin who was at home in Boston visiting while one of the townsmen shouted out “Stop, Stop, Stop!”  Franklin paid no heed as he thought the man was just being silly.  It was right about at that moment that Franklin hit his head square in the middle on a low door frame!

Another interesting tale told in this book is that of the Patriots football team.  If you were not already aware of the story of Tom Brady being picked in the sixth round of the NFL draft, well now you know.  While a great deal of effort goes into planning the draft, luck sometimes favors some more than others.  However, the Patriots don’t believe so much in luck as they believe in their abilities to choose the right players, to have the ability to evaluate talent and to sweep it into their folds at the right time.  Are they glad they have Brady?  Of this, there is no doubt.  However, they were more concerned about the fact that they did not select him earlier in the draft and continued to work on their process of draft selection to be sure that this type of error in judgment did not show up again.

I think that in all honesty that this book simply states to work hard, don’t believe that you are entitled to anything and to continue to learn and believe in yourself.


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