Senator Franken, Lance Armstong, Winning, Dangers of Ego

First it is time to say congratulations to Senator Al Franken who will be sworn in today as a United Stated Senator from Minnesota. He has traveled in his life from being a Harvard grad to Saturday Night Live, to Progressive Talk Show Host, and now US Senator. This journey will help him serve our country exceptionally well.

The Tour De France is back into action. The coverage on TV (Versus) is amazing and the plots and subplots are already in full gear. There is something about a month long endurance sporting event that will stir up all kinds of drama in addition to the long rides, the huge climbs and the fast finishes. There is the only kind of Reality TV that I watch. Lance Armstrong is trying for an historic return but he is only one story amongst many. If you have ever been to France, you know just the towns alone are so interesting and filled with so much history. This is a spectacular event and it will be even better if they keep this race clean from the sideshows of performance enhancing drugs.

This brings me to the topic of today’s blog, which is why competition gets so out of hand that people cheat to win in a number of ways. How could a win accomplished by cheating feel ok to anyone who actually has any real values? What drives a person to do whatever it takes even if it may not be legal and could be destructive to his or her body? This has to be the sneaky workings of the human ego. Winning at all cost has for too long been admired by many and questioned by so few.

What this winning at any cost reminds me of is the workings and mindset of too many corporations. The profit motives are like the winning motive. You do whatever it takes to show a profit even if that means firing employees, canceling retirement and healthcare benefits, polluting the environment or whatever can be rationalized in the name of making more money.

This kind of thinking is winner-take-all and being second doesn’t count. Loosing a bike race or a baseball game means you are less of a person or a team made up of losers. What’s happened to doing the best you can, putting all you got on the line and the satisfaction of knowing you gave fully of yourself? Why is that not enough to just do you very best? Why is second place a looser? This all sounds again like the workings of our human egos. We have to be best or it doesn’t matter sounds like the ego wanting to be in control and power. Is that really where happiness lies in meeting the expectations of our human egos? I would say “no” but many might not even recognize their own egos at work.

Signs the ego may be playing too much of a role in your life:
* You have to be right
* You have to be in control
* You hate to lose
* You will do whatever it takes to win
* You will do things illegal to come out on top
* You don’t even see your arrogance
* You get angry when your team looses
* You often blame others for your problems

Does any of this sound familiar? If it does it is positive that you now see yourself a little more honestly. Shrinking the ego takes mostly the awareness of knowing what your driving forces are and then making sure they align with your heart and your higher values. More about shrinking the ego soon.