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It's easy to think we know what we are doing. As much as we try to be logical and reasonable, certain emotions just stand in the way of this and most of us don't even know how much influence they have on what and how we do this. These are emotions we need to master or get rid of to be the best version of ourselves.
Ego in its simplest form refers to your idea or opinion of yourself, especially your feeling of your importance, self-worth and ability. From this definition, you can see that ego in itself is not a bad thing, as we all have it. It's needed in many ways. Your sense of self-worth usually has a big part to play in shaping how people see you. The problem arises when it starts to tend towards egotism, which is an exaggerated sense of self-importance, as well as one's abilities.
Naturally, the term ego is often now used to mean personal pride and self-absorption. It's at this point that it becomes a problem. The biggest problem derived from self-absorption is the inability to learn from others. This is because you will tend to exaggerate your self-worth and abilities even in matters that you know little of. Such exaggeration usually makes one think they know better than everybody else. The reason behind that is they see any incident of anyone knowing better than them at any time as a threat to their worth, which is usually not the case. It's a problem of attaching their self-worth to how much they are ahead of the pack which is quite arbitrary.
It leaves one close-minded and impossible to teach anything. It has the potential to cause one to lose help, as well as friends. The damage an inflated ego can cause in the long wrong can not be overestimated.
An inflated ego is indeed a problem but will look like child's play when compared to envy. Envy is the painful or resentful awareness of an advantage and/or good fortunes enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage and/or good fortunes. If you look at the definition, you will see that contrary to what envious people might say to make themselves look good, it's not the desire to want to have or enjoy the same good fortunes that the person they envy has that is the problem.
It's only natural to see something good and to want to have it. There's nothing wrong with that. When I see someone with an iPhone 13, I can help to wish I had even iPhone X. When I see young fellows driving nice cars past me, I can't help but wish I had one of those. But what I do doesn't amount to envy, and for one reason only; I do not have any resentful feelings of unhappiness over their having it. The burning desire to want to have the goodies that you see your friends and colleagues enjoy is not what makes you envious. It's the ill feeling you have towards them and their good fortunes.
We see this in our society today manifesting in so many ways, most of which are abhorrently callous. We have heard of people who caused all sorts of harm to their friends and family members because of the success they had or were enjoying. Some of this harm, to the point of death. The worrisome thing is that when we have conversations about these things, we are all quick to dismiss them and claim we aren't infected with them, and that's part of the problem. I mean, you can fix a problem you don't even agree you have. We all as humans have a general seed of envy in our nature.
In the worst case, it establishes itself and becomes for combines with covetousness. That's when things begin to go to hell. We have to learn to admit that we all have to potential to manifest these, and then we can now make the effort to guide our hearts against it. In the long run, we would have eventually expelled it from our being, but that takes conscious work of guiding our hearts against envy as it rises, anytime it rises.
The worst thing about envy is that it prevents you from focusing on yourself and your personal growth. Instead, you spent all your time nurturing I'll feel towards the one you are enjoying, time that would have gone a long way in helping you grow to the point of getting that which you so desire. You have to learn to focus on yourself and your growth. You need to know that you compete with no one but yourself, despite the contrary societal perception. You are only ever truly in contention with yourself. Seek and strive to be better every day, and soon enough, you would have grown enough to have that which you desire and more.
Thanks for reading this article. I hope you found it beneficial