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The Insatiable Ego March 19, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego, Writing & Writers.

alice26thLife is so much easier when we recognize that Ego’s need for external validation will never be quenched.

No matter what.

At first, Ego wants an agent.
Then, Ego wants a publishing contract.
Then, Ego wants book sales to reach a certain “magic” number.

Then, Ego decides that that “magic” number is not high enough.

Ego proclaims that it NEEDS to land on the NY Times Bestseller list.
And Ego wants to receive a six figure advance.

And Ego wants to sell the movie rights
And see its name in lights.

And Ego wants Mattel to market action figures.
And Bobble Head Dolls.

Then Ego demands more favorable reviews.
And a Pulitzer Prize.

Then, Ego wants . . .

It’s rather like the greedy Fisherman’s Wife who moves from hovel to cottage to estate to castle to palace . . . never satisfied. Always striving for something just out of reach.

We want what we THINK will make us HAPPY.  And find, once we have IT, that IT is never enough.

Because Ego always wants MORE.

Broccoli-Mocking-StewieAnd, in the midst of all that striving, Ego tells US that we are not good enough as we are . . .

That without applause, accolades, and acknowledgment from esteemed critics we are NOTHING.

Ego is a Broccoli Head.

One day, if we are lucky, we learn to tune Ego out . . . because Ego is NOTHING more than a figment of our imagination.

A bunch of hot air.


We see that “who we really are” is much more than what we do . . . or what others think of us and what we do, what we have, what we wear, and what we drive.

And, on that day, we are FREE.
Self-doubt is gone.
As is the desire for external validation.

And we return to the keyboard to write . . . for the sheer joy of writing.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder:  “When we have conquered the enemy within . . . there are no enemies left to conquer.”

Related post:  Self-doubt, self-publishing, and other selfish writer-isms (Eric J. Baker)


1. suzicate - March 19, 2013

Exactly, the ego ALWAYS wants MORE!
Yes, the pure joy of writing! -It’s good to come back to the key element of it. Ego thinks it’s all about money and popularity. Ego forgets the essence of it…(after the initial joy of putting the words down) when our hearts touch other hearts.

nrhatch - March 19, 2013


An excellent quote by Stephen King in On Writing (p. 219) . . .

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting Happy, okay? Getting happy.

Some of this book – perhaps too much – has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it – and perhaps the best of it – is a permission slip: you can, you should and if you are brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art.

The Water is free. So drink.

Drink and be filled up.”

2. SidevieW - March 19, 2013

The day of freedom from the demanding ego is one of true liberation

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Yes! We realize how we’ve been manipulated by our attempts to manipulate how others choose to view us. It’s such a circuitous way to live life.

Far easier to look within for answers.

SidevieW - March 19, 2013

and to know there aren’t always answers

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Yup. Of course, sometimes we find the answer when we rephrase the question. :mrgreen:

3. Allan Smorra - March 19, 2013

Great post, great quote at the end. Thanks for sharing this.

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Thanks, Allan. Glad it struck the right “chord” with you.

4. Piglet in Portugal - March 19, 2013

But to a certain extent without ego we would never challenge ourselves and always sit back and accept life as is instead, of what could be. That said managing ones ego is a like a set of balance scales.

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Are you sure that we would “never challenge ourselves”?

Even when I’m not playing to an external audience, I enjoy making beautiful music. 😀

When we do what we love . . . we love what we do. That JOY fuels our desire to Create, Dance, Sing, and Play. Not to impress others. Just to satisfy our inner being.

Piglet in Portugal - March 19, 2013

I agree, but doesn’t our inner being also has an ego that has to be satisfied, non?

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Not that I’ve noticed, PiP. My inner being “smiles” with bliss whenever and however I drown out Ego’s incessant demands.

All it asks is that I ENJOY the flow of life in the Eternal Now.

5. kateshrewsday - March 19, 2013

Wonderful post, Nancy. Happiness lies not in continual acquisition but in looking at the now and realising the treasure is here before our eyes all along.

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Indeed. When we figure out how to be happy where we are . . . we are no longer convinced that the grass is greener on the other side of the rainbow.

6. ericjbaker - March 19, 2013

Say, what kind of jackass inspired this post? I’d hate to know the guy.


nrhatch - March 19, 2013

You should give yourself a “gold star” for the inspiration. If you were not who you are, I would not have said what I said ~ I would have been too afraid of causing you to shatter into pieces. 😉

ericjbaker - March 19, 2013

Don’t worry. I’m made of used chewing gum and dog tails. Virtually shatterproof.


nrhatch - March 19, 2013

And that, Mr. Puppy Dog Tail, is Step One on the trek up the mountain. Wait until you see the view from the top! 😯

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Link added.

7. sanstorm - March 19, 2013

Great post. I spend a lot of time ranting to my children about the futility of being discontented; the truth of the matter is that is you are not content with what you have – you will not be content with what you have.

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Contentment is an INSIDE job. 😀

8. diannegray - March 19, 2013

Never a truer word was spoken, Nancy. You are a gem 😀

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Thanks, Dianne. If you’re interested, I just added a link to Eric’s post . . . the one that sparked this post. It’s populated with some good comments on publishing contracts vs. self-publishing.

diannegray - March 19, 2013

Heading there now 😉

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Thanks for your post about the pirates lurking about Amazon. I had no idea that e-books could be pirated like that.

9. timethief - March 19, 2013

Wonderful article. I love it and thank you for sharing it.

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

10. sufilight - March 19, 2013

Right on! The less attached we are to ego the more our lives flow with peace and fulfillment. I have been thinking of writing inspirational E-books to get back to writing; will make a list of topics I would like to write about and see where it takes me. To me being of service and inspiring makes me feel grateful. You inspire me by the way. 😉

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

Thanks, Marie! Life should be FUN. And it loses that PLAYFUL element when we take ourselves and our accomplishments too seriously . . . turning life into a numbers game.

Inspiring others is a great way to give back to the world! Best of luck with your inspirational e-books. Glad I give you a lift from time to time. Right back atcha! 😀

11. Andra Watkins - March 19, 2013

I only hope I can avoid what other egos demand of me.

nrhatch - March 19, 2013

That’s a challenge all in its own . . . I have worked with some enormous Egos over the years. Silly rabbits. :mrgreen:

12. Pix Under the Oaks - March 20, 2013

I am befuddled by ego. I do, have, wear and drive what makes me happy within my budget. I don’t think I do any of those things to impress anyone else. But I still worry about what others think of me in the sense that I don’t want to be thought of as an inconsiderate jerk. We are so isolated where we are that we must being doing what we do just because we like it because we don’t have much of an audience.. 🙂 Befuddled sort of…..

nrhatch - March 20, 2013

Maybe this will help . . . or, at least, be interesting:

13. Don - March 20, 2013

Wonderful post Nancy. I think when we finally begin to let go of those tiring demands of the ego we no longer need to push or prove ourselves in constant competition and comparison. Somehow, and I find it happens almost naturally, there’s a kind of elemental self that takes over and brings, calm, security and peace, and most of all, authenticity.

nrhatch - March 20, 2013

Yes! Well put, Don. Ego’s insatiable hunger to be more wealthy, more famous, more powerful, or more beautiful than others is a constant “striving for” without ever attaining . . . because the carrot of “success” stays just out of reach.

When we tune Ego out, contentment (true success) arises from within.

14. Grannymar - March 20, 2013

Ego can become a drug, if you are fortunate to be happy in your own skin, then you have no need of it.

nrhatch - March 20, 2013

Yes! But why wait? When we shed our ego-stroking focus, we almost always become happier. Even if all we are doing is being.

Grannymar - March 20, 2013

I totally agree. Nobody is promised tomorrow, so why waste today?

nrhatch - March 20, 2013

Yes! Enjoy the rhythm of life as one moment flows to the next.

15. Pocket Perspectives - March 22, 2013

What wisdom in your post…thank you…

nrhatch - March 22, 2013

Thanks, Kathy. I am engrossed in the sheer joy of writing at the moment . . . writing a serial short story is such splendid FUN.

16. jannatwrites - March 26, 2013

Ego is a Broccoli Head…that made me laugh 😀

It is easy to get sucked into the “more” loop…awareness of the trap is the first defense against it, though!

nrhatch - March 26, 2013

Yes! Like most “addictions,” Ego’s addiction to wanting more is overcome only when we acknowledge we have a problem.

“Hi. I’m Nancy. And my Ego is a greedy Broccoli Head.” :mrgreen:

17. Team Oyeniyi - March 29, 2013

I can’t resist

Love the article, so true (from one wanting to sell the movie rights) but gotta love this song from 1975

nrhatch - March 29, 2013

I’ve never heard that song before, Robyn. They make some good points ~ including the one about Jesus. Quite timely for Good Friday. Thanks!

Team Oyeniyi - March 29, 2013

I don’t think Shyhooks were ever big in the USA, but they were very popular here. I even saw them live once! They have a few songs that I like, that one was one of them.

nrhatch - March 29, 2013

I got a kick out of their costumes. 😀

18. bluebee - March 29, 2013

I’ve recently given up working for myself (after 10 years) and gone back into full-time employment in the corporate world. So many problems in this environment are caused by overblown egos. It’s exhausting.

nrhatch - March 29, 2013

Wow! That’s a B~I~G change for you, BB. Good luck with all those Egos. 😀

19. Nancy Curteman - March 30, 2013

There are two ways to find happiness: 1. Achieve or acquire everything you desire. Or, 2. Reduce your desires.

nrhatch - March 30, 2013

Well put, NC. Some desires are inevitable . . . like the desire to eat when we’re hungry. They motivate us to action.

But run-a-way desires can fill us with unfulfilled yearning that detracts from the happiness we could feel HERE and NOW.

As in all things, balance is key.

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