The War On Ego — The Power Of Silence, Remaining A Student And The Toxicity Of Success

The War On Ego — The Power Of Silence, Remaining A Student And The Toxicity Of Success

Let’s define exactly what the ego is. How do your inner resistances and the constant war between the ego and the self shape who you are?




What exactly is the ego? You may have heard this word before, maybe you even have an idea on what it is.

The reality we experience is everything around us. The material objects we touch, what we buy, what we define ourselves by, on the exterior.

When we speak about something we want or something we want to define regarding the “I” we are referring to the ego.

An example could be “I want to get in shape.” or “I want to be healthy”, “I need more money.” These are examples of our ego, “I”, in action with our surroundings.

Whether we want to accept it or not, the ego(s) collectively are what run our economy, it’s what leads our life. It may very well be the decision maker of contemporary civilization.




Let’s define what the self is, many make erroneous assumptions on the two being identical.  It’s critical to make the distinction between the two before we move further.

Self is further beyond the ego, it’s deeper and raw. The ego should be seen like a mirror, it’s defined not so much by the self, rather by the manifold of experiences shape it.

The self is where dreams come from, it’s everything that’s you. The self is instinct, intuition, spiritual mind states that do no belong to the ego and transcend the exterior world.

Self is the spectator to your life experiences.

Ego The Antagonist



Within every human being, there is a never-ending antagonism between the self and the ego.

Usually, in every battle, there is an aggressor. One side seeks to dominate and aggravate, keeping an offensive energy in the war. This offensive flame is ignited by the ego.

The ego is always trying to submit the self. It fights to accept the material reality we live in, but this is inauthentic.

The self is comprised of everything spiritual, the divine. It is the reality which we can not physically touch and thus it becomes harder to accept it as truth. Stay with me.

The egos reality is like a mirror, everything it sees is reflected back to us through our senses. This is what we perceive as everyday life and thus we accept it wholeheartedly.

The aim is to accept the self as true reality. The more you can move your perception of reality towards the self which has no judgment and has no illusions, the greater your fulfillment and joy will be. The less you will be a slave to the ‘mainstream’ if you will.

To the contrary, the ‘self’ works on energy, which is universal. Understanding and love are its imperatives.

We must make a conscious effort to fight in the war.

When you can immerse yourself in your true self and slowly dimish your ego, your ability to be creative and spread your art and your innate aptitudes and talents to the world becomes effortless.

To resist the is to fight for the preservation and blossom of ‘self’ and hence, we will constantly improve.


Fighting The Ego


The journey of improvement in your health and strength is a great weapon to use in this war. By lifting weights, improving your health and overall physical form presents the opportunity to go in a trajectory in full favor of the ego or the self. This can be both dangerous and priceless.

You see, the ego may seek to improve your body for others, for girls, for validation, while the ‘self’ seeks to improve your own confidence and the integrity of your character.

Those who lifts long enough will eventually realize the fleetingness of lifting for anything but the latter and thus the entire journey of building your health becomes a tool more about building your mind. This is where the magic happens.

You will eventually understand the difference between the ego and the self through building your body and the ego becomes submissive.

Subconsciously through the process of building your body and getting healthy, you are fighting a war against your ego on a daily basis.


Physical Mastery


Subconsciously through the process of building your body and getting healthy, you are fighting a war against your ego on a daily basis.

This journey can be enacted through any process which interacts with the realm of ego and the self. But your health and fitness is something we are all somewhat lacking in and this is why it’s the perfect example to use.

Now, of course, you may argue that lifting and fitness are actually doing the opposite. You may see fitness as a way of exponentially exacerbating the inflation of one’s ego.

To this argument, I would say you are absolutely correct.

However, understand my point is that this particular journey of physical mastery gives one the opportunity to eliminate it if you can consciously distinguish the ego from the self.

Having the present awareness on a moment to moment basis that there is a war being fought gives you the power to win the battle every single day, if you choose to.


The Power Of Silence


The ego is like a child, it always desires attention. It doesn’t matter whether this attention is positive or negative; no matter what, it will still crave the attention as the desire is on the I and others are ‘spectating and judging.’

It gives you a sense of importance and meaning.

This attention fueled ego is what results in people constantly discussing topics surrounding themselves. What we wish to pursue in the future, goals we have everything regarding what I am doing what I will do or what I have done.

Silence seems to be interpreted by most to be a bad thing. Why? Because the attention is momentarily diverted from them.

Despite the attention even possibly being negative, if it is shifted away our ego craves it.  Silence is a state the ego will persistently manipulate you into seeing as some sort of loss.

Loss of opportunity to shift yourself back into the spotlight to continue sucking the attention towards you.


In ‘Ego Is The Enemy’, Ryan Holiday Tells Us That: 


“We seem to think that silence is a sign of weakness. That being ignored is tantamount to death (and for the ego, this is true). So we talk, talk, talk as though our life depends on it. In actuality, silence is strength – particularly early on in any journey. As the philosopher (and as it happens, a hater of newspapers and their chatter) Kierkegaard warned, ‘Mere gossip anticipates real talk, and to express what is still in thought weakens action by forestalling it.’”

No matter how little one has done, words are simply easy to blurt out.

Anyone can speak about themselves to feed the ego and fill the void of attention loss. Evidently, this makes no difference if the action is never made.

To silence the ego is to live by the simple and cliche motto that “actions speak louder than words.”

In fact, the opposite is true. Since so many people have their ego in the front seat controlling their words it’s odd to see someone’s ego silenced allowing their actions to speak for them.

Become comfortable with silence, let others take the attention and let your ego dissolve into its rightful place as you do more and speak less.


Remain A Student


When your ego is inflated you suffer a major loss in your ability to retain information and be a student of life.

The ego protects us from learning new information as we may begin to see ourselves as somehow “all knowing.” If you think you already know everything there is to know, it becomes impossible to take in new information.

The moment you humble yourself and can admit to yourself that you don’t know something, this is when the learning process begins. This is when your mind is able to fully open and take in the world around it.

One of the most harmful effects of ego is that it makes us terrible students.

It’s very difficult to learn new things if you already think you know everything.

This type of overconfidence can hurt your learning and education because it’s only when we become comfortable with ignorance that we give ourselves the opportunity to improve ourselves.

To learn more about your body, your health, how to take care of it and to excel in any subject, there is going to be someone that knows more about it than you. Always.

The second you accept this is when your ego takes a backseat and yes it’s difficult to do this. To keep progressing and to always allow ourselves to learn and self-improve you must be willing to temporarily step down to the mindset of a student.

This doesn’t make you less of a person, even though your ego tells you so. In fact, this makes you smarter and increases your accessibility to the vast abudance of knowledge.

You must remind yourself this every time your ego attempts to inflate and prevents you from submitting to a master.




We’ve talked about the war between the self and the ego. Resistance is what thrives inside us when the war is not fought.

Resistance in the war can never actually be defeated. There is no point in where you take your physical self or mental self and the progress you make in one or the other where resistance dissipates.

Resistance is what fuels the progress you make for yourself. More specifically it is the action against the resistance which manifests as the results and progression we see.

Degeneration is what occurs not when actions are done wrong, rather than tenacious failure which is realized when resistance controls you.


Creation Is What Opposes Resistance.


Don’t fear this, welcome it, embrace resistance knowing that it is fuel to your engine.

We must spend 80% of our time creating, instead most spend 80% resisting.

This could be an improvement of your health, writing, painting, most of your time should be spend doing these things. Instead, we live in a world of consumerism.

Consumerism is the ultimate act of resistance, it is resisting the innate urge we have to create.

Don’t let resistant dominate you because it will and its energy is everlasting. Remember the war will never be won, all you can do is keep fighting and learn to become a better soldier against the ego.

As I’ve discussed before, you must have a purpose. Clearly, this is important for your entire life, but your entire life’s purpose is made out of small ones.

Practice cultivating a sense of purpose for every action you do, with this purpose comes the lessened likelihood that you will submit to resistance as you have a backbone for your exertions.

Instead of seeing ego as inherently bad, accept it for what it is. Take advantage of its presence rather than resenting it.

Don’t let your ego paralyze you, keep your eye on your goals and always sharpen your sword of creation.

The Success Manifesto


Success is incredible. We all see success as the goal in life. Defined in many ways; a great body, money, fame, whatever it may be a success is excelling in a field you have chosen to exert yourself in.

Success can be the cause of an inflated ego. If we look back to becoming a student and letting your ego subside to learn information and stay humble, this is exactly what can be lost when you cultivate success.

You may feel that you are above other people because of your success and your ego will completely block your ability to remain silent, remain a student and stay creative against the resistance of your ego.


Toxicity Of Success


Success is a great thing, but it can also be one of the biggest contributors to an over-sized ego.

It’s not uncommon to find top CEOs, all-star athletes, and popular celebrities become huge, self-entitled egomaniacs. This is because once we get a taste of success, we can begin to have a more inflated sense of ourselves and even become addicted to this positive feedback and attention.

This isn’t an attempt to disregard the hard work they have put into what made them who they are. Rather it’s a warning to you, to seek to understand how success can create an overbearing persona and prevent this before it happens.

Success is not likely to last forever, a great example is with our bodies. We may build up an incredible physique, but as our testosterone falls to low levels with age, as we become naturally inclined to injury, all we have is our ego and our selfs, not necessarily the mask of success we once associated ourselves with.

Understand that success never entitles you to more success, never. Success doesn’t mean the resistance has stopped pushing against you, it always will until the day you die

Take Away Message


1. Ego can be seen as a mirror, reflecting the physical, material reality around us. The ‘self’ is our deep, innate being or consciousness which experiences the ego as a backseat viewer.

2. Your ego and the ‘self’ are antagonists of each other. They are fighting a never ending battle in your mind from the moment you’re born until the moment you die.

3. Fight your ego and dominate it day in and day out. Fight the ego to stay humble, seek to understand the world through understanding rather than materialism.

4. Remember the power of silence. Silence is not weakness, silence allows you to express yourself through actions rather than words and that’s what gets results.

5. Remain a student of life. Never allow your ego to think of yourself as superior. Be aware of yourself and understand when the time is right to temporarily become a student to make use of the abundance of knowledge in the world.

6. Accept the resistance of your ego and learn to appreciate resistance as a cosmic reason to remain in a state of thriving rather than copying, let it give you purpose. Instead of seeing ego as inherently bad, just accept it for what it is and make use of its existence.

7. Remember that there is an element of toxicity to success. Stay humble and don’t let your ego tell you that you are somehow entitled to more success just because you have acquired it before.

The wisest man in the world knows he knows nothing at all.

Liked it? Take a second to support Philip Ghezelbash on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *