A cog in someone else’s machine

As I open a fresh one, I turn to the first page and ask, “What’s important to me right now? What ideas do I need to spend some time with?”

One of the ideas that always makes it onto the first page of every new notebook is the following formula:

Mastery = Time x Attention x Ego x Love

Walking home yesterday, I was thinking about that formula and those three controversial letters. 


Ego has a bad rep. But only because when people think of the word “ego,” they think of obnoxious, arrogant, insufferable individuals. But ego doesn’t have to be like that.

A strong ego can mean self-confidence.

A strong ego can mean separating yourself from your ideas.

A strong ego can mean the ability to remain composed and not blink when the pressure intensifies.

A strong ego can mean the absorption of criticism. A willingness to take something of value away from even the most dire of situations.

A strong ego can mean self-reliance. Needing nothing and no one.

A strong ego can mean awareness of what you control, what you cannot, and consequently, what it is in your power to do.

Without ego, you can never realise your full potential. Without ego, you won’t be able to persist when everyone says you should give up. Without ego, you won’t survive long enough to get to mastery.

Without ego, you are in danger of becoming a cog in someone else’s machine.