"Life is not about you. It’s about what you do for others. The faster you are able to get over yourself, the more you can do for the people who matter most. Yet external forces keep pulling you toward self-centered pursuits. From books pushing “happiness” to advertisements convincing you that consumption leads to adoration, these messages tempt you to focus inward. That is all a trap (and a load of crap)." The recent generations emphasize building up everyone’s self-esteem. This is useful once you put the work in but now people think they can do anything without the repetition and experience. The ego holds us back by hiding our weaknesses from the mind, making self-improvement difficult. Prepare yourself for the long term or get let down when you can’t live up to your expectations. Social media encourages us to talk instead of doing the thing. It takes away from your focus and energy to be present and accomplish the task. Talk less, do more.
We have strong norms to not portray ourselves as selfish. We still need to have others like us but we can do so with clear motives by being our true self. We human beings are a species that’s not only capable of acting on hidden motives, we were designed to do it. The social brain hypothesis says that our ancestors got smart primarily in order to compete against each other in a variety of social and political scenarios. Meaning the most important thing to our mind is to portray yourself as smart, not to be smart. Do you feel good about yourself when someone tells you that you’re smart (compliments, earning a degree, good grades) or when you gain new knowledge? If you feel good when you get that pat on the back you’re setting yourself up to wait for the next one. Our egos keep us disconnected from reality resulting in much of our society acting selfishly while signaling that we are unselfish. Self-deception can also help us to convince others of a possible reality, the one we have in our mind. Pay attention to when you are deceiving yourself.