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I think that there is a danger that looms for all of us in terms of losing ourselves to the greed of our own ego. I think our generation, a generation that has become embedded in internet culture with Facebook, Twitter, Newschoolers, Instagram, texting, Iphones, etc, are especially susceptible to getting sucked into greed for attention.
It is human nature to feel great about yourself when your getting noticed or getting attention. It feels great to know that people respect you and look up to you. You begin to base your image and ideals of yourself based on what someone else thinks of you. You let others validify your own existence. It is an act of basing your happiness and ideals of youself on what others think of you. With that in mind, you become extremely tied to others ideals of yourself instead of your own ideals. For example, if a pro skier wins a big competition, the girls will give him love, the crowd will give him love thus inflating the ego. An athletes ideals of himself become tied to what others think. THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM. Why is this a problem? Its because life fluctuates. We have shitty times of our lives, we have great times, and we have mediocre times. So what happens when an athlete falls from glory? They are no longer getting the attention or social reinforcement from the crowd. As a result, sadness and depression hit. They are not longer great. But that is all merely a perception.
With that said, what really matters is that you stay true to yourself and love yourself no matter what the crowd thinks or no matter what you may go through in your life. Do not attach yourself to what others think. Do not let your ego feed off of what others tell you about yourself. You know yourself from day one. Once you start letting others give you your idea of youself, you give away all your power. You are letting others decide what you are and this is a horrible problem.
I'm not saying there is a huge problem with pro-athletes and that you shouldn't strive for greatness in your life. And its also not bad to get praise for you work. But what you have to realize is all that shit is second nature. What you should focus on in your life is what you love to do. If you love to ski, go ski, go get creative and enjoy the time you spend skiing. But as soon as you begin to let others determine what kind of skier you are, the beauty of the sport is ruined. All that matters is that you enjoy whatever your pursuits may be. Don't let others tell you whether or not your good enough, or that your worthy because its not about them. Its only about you in the moment. Once you begin to let others define yourself, you give your power away and you become much more susceptible to what the crowd thinks of you.
I think the biggest issue our generation faces is that Social Media really amplifies the problem of letting others define ourselves. Social Media is all about give and take. From my personal experience on social media sites, I think that I can speak for all of us when I say that you feel better about yourself when you're getting a lot of notifications, love, and attention on these sites. Some of you probably don't get any notifications and you take it personally. No one is watching me, I'm not getting attention and then you become sad. With social media, we begin to base our ideas of ourselves by our online track record. I'm not saying that these sites are purely evil because I know that they are also a great way to stay in touch with friends. However, don't succumb to letting Facebok or whatever other site define what you think of yourself. Once you begin to let others define your perception of yourself, your going to experience problems in your psyche. There is no need for attention from others in terms of validation whether or not your worthy. Your ego runs off of attention. When you're getting attention it feels great, when you're not, you feel unworthy of yourself and become sad. This kind of thinking is shit brained. As I said, it is really important for your own peace of mind to define your own life and never let others define it for you.
I think the biggest issue a lot of pro athletes/famous people experience is the issue of whether or not they define themselves or let others define themselves. If you define yourself, there is beauty to life because you live on your own terms and don't let others validate your existence. However, once you let others define you, your life is going to be a roller coaster ride of chaos. Your going to let what others think of you define your life. I think both these ideas are evident in the pro athletes of today. I can think of plenty of skiers that solely ski for themselves and the happiness the sport brings to them. I can also think of many skiers that let others define them in their pursuits. What side of the fence do you fall on?
Sorry for the rant, but this has been a thought that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I think this is the biggest issue we all face in our lives. We should also strive for greatness in our lives, while being humble about it. Its not about the fame, the money, or any other abstract idea. All it is about is the experience you have through your life and the joy it brings you. Here is a great read about the ego that has really inspired me lately: