Ego isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is what makes us get up in the morning, the wish to do something of acclaim and note. It’s how we channel it that is the problem. We all have goals, and unfortunately, we all have people who seem to be obstacles in our path. Whether it’s a teacher who seems to have you on their bad list, a boss who seems to take his role model from Pharaoh in Egypt, or in my case, horrible colleagues, it can almost be argued that these people wake up in the morning just to irk me. At times, I really do believe it.
Yet focusing on them in any capacity beyond working around them is a waste of my energy. Making them the focus of my attention only gives them more power, and prevents me from using that energy to make my project the best it can be. If I really want to do and be right, I need to make sure I am not focusing on my ego.
I think that is a vital lesson that every student needs to learn, to ask ourselves what is the real goal in the situation? In a school being plagued by anti-Israel activities, the goal shouldn’t be humiliating the students involved but making the place a more educated and safe learning environment. When dealing with an unfair teacher, the goal is ideally about passing the subject with your sanity, not getting your nemesis fired. For me, my goal is to be an amazing advocate for Israel in my personal life, without sacrificing my professional life in law, finance and journalism. As heavy as that goal is, I can’t afford to let myself be sidetracked.
Sometimes, there are battles you won’t win. You won’t always be able to start an amazing Israel program on campus, or get an A you feel you deserve. Yet, if you keep your focus on your goal and consistently ask yourself if your ego is talking, you will find that the obstacles in your path are far behind you and you are much closer to achieve your ambitions. If you have confidence in yourself and your own self worth, you will realize that even the biggest obstacle is just another step in the road to success. Take joy in doing the right thing and stepping right over them, moving on to what’s really important.
Do you want to be remembered as a hero or a pastry? Act accordingly.