How To Build a Stronger Ego

In self-help literature, we often read about the benefits of diminishing or eliminating the ego. Many write as though the ideal existence involves giving away all their stuff and doing away with attachment to anything. If that’s truly your calling, then go for it!

But what if you want to just be a regular person and feel good about yourself? What if you want to have a rich and exciting life, whether or not you have material abundance? Is there a way?

Instead of associating ego with detrimental personal traits, you could associate a strong ego with strong character. With a developed ego, you learn to have a healthy sense of self. And a healthy sense of self helps you be a person of character.

You can also work this in reverse: act like a person of character and you’ll learn to have a healthy sense of self. In other words, you’ll develop your ego.

What Is Character?

How do you act like a person of character? Here are some attributes to start with. Maybe you can think of some more that you’d like to demonstrate in your everyday life.

  • Courage: The ability to move forward when uncertain or fearful. This gives you a lot more options than you have when you feel too timid or fearful to take action.
  • Charity: When you help others, you help yourself even more in the end.
  • Discipline: Asserting control over yourself and your daily habits will strengthen your ego.
  • Adventure: Explore the world and its abundance of offerings. By having a better understanding of the world, you’ll understand yourself and others better.
  • Honesty: People who act or speak dishonestly often do so because they’re trying to hide the truth about themselves. Be honest and upfront in all your dealings. 

Expanding Your Mind Strengthens Your Ego

In addition to practicing good character, expanding your mind contributes to a happy and full life, strengthens your ego, and gives you more opportunities to demonstrate your character.

Consider these ways to use your mind for your benefit:

  1. Evaluate your model of the world. How do you act in response to your model of the world? Can you reshape your actions to bring about more desired results?
  2. Create a social support system that best serves you. Humans are social animals. Our interpersonal interactions and our environment have a significant impact on us. Fortunately, to some extent we all get to choose those around us. Include people in your life that support your highest vision of yourself.
  3. Become more capable. The mind can take us all sorts of places, whether we want to go there or not. Ultimately, though, we can choose where we want to direct our mind. Use your innate intelligence to tell your mind where to direct attention. Choose your focus wisely and you can strengthen your character and lessen your fears.

While it is not possible to eliminate your ego, you can  strengthen your ego to have a more engaging life. By building your character and your intellect, you’ll be able to bravely push forward and create the life you and your loved ones deserve.

Determining What Motivates You

Being able to figure out what motivates you will be a real benefit throughout your life. Once you know what brings you inspiration, you can draw from this list to keep you going whenever you need a boost.

Explore this process to discover your own motivations:

1. Think about the most difficult situation you’ve ever experienced. Then record the answers to these questions:

• What did you think about the event?
• How did you feel about it?
• How did you arrive at how you were going to handle and resolve the situation?
• What was important to you at the time – was it how you felt, what you thought your parents would think, what you believed was “the right thing to do” or something else?
• Ultimately, what did you do to resolve the event?

2. Next, reflect on 2 or 3 of your biggest achievements. Maybe for you, graduating from college or moving out on your own was a big achievement. Continue writing down your answers to these additional questions. This process will help you to identify your own motivations.

• What did you do to achieve your success

• How did you meet your goals?
• What did you think about during the process?
• What motivated you – looking out for your future, wanting to make more money, hoping to make your parents proud, or something else?
• Did you visualize what your life would be like once you had achieved your goal?
• How much did you really want to achieve it?

3. Analyze your answers. After reflecting on the above questions, your mind will be more open to identifying what’s important to you. So far, what have you discovered that motivates you? Are you surprised at what you’ve found?
4. How do you feel about these concepts? What motivates one person might not motivate another. Still, it’s likely that you’ll feel inspired by the same one or two issues consistently throughout your life.

Ideas from this list may ring true to your feelings:

• You strive to feel like you’re doing “the right thing.”
• You want to increase your ability to earn more money.
• Pursuing your passion propels you forward to accomplish more.
• You hope to see the pride in your parents’ eyes.
• Maybe you seek recognition from other people – you hope to be noticed and admired.
• You want to make your or your children’s futures better.
• You feel the need to prove to yourself that you can achieve something.
• You like the idea of stepping up to a challenge in your life.
• Seeking variety in life motivates you to try new things.
• You strive to overcome a difficult childhood and emerge triumphant.
• Discovering and validating who you really are as an individual is important to you.
• You plan to dispute negative messages someone from your past instilled in you.
• You want to do something in life that “really matters.”
• Perhaps you enjoy the sheer entertainment value of doing something.
• Writing down your goals and making an action plan spurs you on to accomplishment.
• You like to see your list of achievements grow.

Whether you want to improve your life, make more money, or follow your passion, discover what motivates you. Then, apply your motivators to situations that really matter. Now, you’re ready to achieve whatever you seek in life.

Relaxation Tips for Busy Parents

Busy ParentsParents can be busy, which of course is an understatement, especially if you have more than one child. One child may play a sport, another may play in the band, and another may be involved in scouting. Parents may feel like nothing more than a glorified cab driver. Although it may not be possible to remove all activities, below I share some tips for those rare moments you are not running around.

Read a book

How long has it been since you’ve curled up with a good book? Set aside time each day to do just that. Maybe you can’t physically get comfy in your favorite chair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take time to read. If your children have you taxiing them all over the place, take along a book to read while you wait for them.  Now with the latest e-reader gadgets, you may actually be able to finish that book you started before your children were born.

Hire a Babysitter

Take some time out for you. Keep a list of trusted babysitters handy for those times you’re not busy. Call one of them up and ask them to keep the kids while you and your partner go out on the town.

Find a nice, quiet restaurant and promise not to talk about the children. While you’re at it, why not take in a movie you’d both like to see? Your children are already being cared for; you may as well take advantage of the time without them to truly enjoy yourselves.

Exercise together

Physical activity has been shown to reduce stress and it’s also good for the body. The great thing is that exercising also releases endorphins which help you relax and feel good, sometimes for hours after you’ve finished exercising. Another benefit of exercising together is that you can encourage each other when the going gets tough.

Take a mental vacation

Children daydream regularly, but it seems parents have forgotten this important activity. Take time to sit together and daydream. Talk about where you’d like to travel and about things you’d like to do while you’re there. Visualize your destination and let your minds wander. Before long you’ll feel relaxed and ready to tackle the rest of your day.

Listen to music

It’s been said that “music soothes the savage beast”. So when was the last time you listened to music to simply relax?Choose your favorite soft music, you know, the type that make your children cringe. These can be very relaxing when used during your mental vacation.

Busy parents are often found running their children from one activity to another as well as spending a good portion of their day at work. They may not have the luxury of taking time for themselves, but it’s important they do. Use one or more of these five relaxing ideas for busy parents to find ways to refresh and refocus on each other.  It is necessary for your well being and your relationship as well.