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The Ego Is Not Your Friend

by Adam Zack — August 23, 2017

Ego is like a pilot light

I was watching the HBO mini-series The Defiant Ones, a documentary about the rise of rap mogul Dr. Dre and rock producer/genius engineer Jimmy Iovine and their ultimate collaboration that resulted in the creation of Beatz Music (think fancy headphones) which they ultimately sold to Apple for $3.2 billion. Yes, billion. The stories of their very humble beginnings through their success with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Gwen Stefani, Tupac and Eminem was fascinating to me and even gave me real appreciation for the art (yes, I said art) of rap music—a sentence I never dreamed I’d even contemplate. My biggest takeaway of the whole 4 part series was an interview with Dr. Dre. (If you don’t know the name, he was a member of the most influential rap group ever N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton was the movie about them.) Anyway, Dre was speaking of fame and the things it brings, he said,“The ego was a mother*$#@er. Ego is like the little pilot light and fame is the gasoline. And once gasoline gets poured on that ego, you never know if the pilot light is gonna go out or if it’s gonna turn into a mother*$#@in’ bonfire or some $%#& that nobody could control.” It’s analogy that really struck me as incredible astute and insightful. Because with fame and money, the ego is almost always leading the way. But it’s not just applicable to the rich, the genius, the famous, the beautiful. Ego has stopped everyday grocers like you and me from making needed changes, from listening to subordinates and being open minded to new ideas. Regular ego checking is vital to growth and success. Remember, the ego is afraid to let go. The ego prevents you from seizing opportunities. The ego wants you to remain complacent. It thinks what you’ve got now is good enough. The ego is your enemy, and like that mother*$#@er Dr. Dre says, you just don’t know when it might turn into a bonfire and burn the place down.

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