Several years ago I was talking to a baseball coach who was working with my son.
The gentleman really knew how to work with young boys – and his knowledge of the inner secrets of the game were unparalleled.
One day, as we spoke between rounds, he asked my opinion as to what he could do to drum up more business. I replied, “If you really want to separate yourself from everyone else, you write a book.”
The coach dropped his head and spat a spiral of tobacco juice. Then he paused another moment before coming up with the following line:
“Well, I’d love to write a book, but you know (spit more tobacco juice), I, I, I, I, I, I just don’t have a big enough of an ego.”
Once again, who but an egotist would be keeping track of how big his or anyone else’s ego is?
Being my ego extends beyond the cosmos, I consider myself a whirld-renowned (yes, I know how to spell world) authority on the subject.
Tis why I replied to the coach as follows:
“Ya know coach, it’s often times the exact opposite. The reason some people won’t write a book is because they have a big ego.”
“Let’s look at it this way. People who speak and write about getting rid of the ego, aren’t they always saying that it’s designed to protect you from what you’re afraid of, or from perceived danger, and so on?”
“I guess so,” he says.
“Very well then. So in that case, saying your ego isn’t big, and using this to justify not putting together a book, is really a red herring. These people are not writing because they’re afraid of being criticized and judged. So their ego makes egocentric excuses to make it appear they have no ego – or at bare minimum, a small one, when they really, truly have a huge one.”
“So you don’t have a big ego?” the coach asks.
“Are you kidding me?” I quipped. “I have a massive ego. It’s so big it cannot be contained by the known universe. But I’m
not trying to get rid of it or shrink it. That would be as dumb as trying to get rid of my spine.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Look at it this way, any attempt to get rid of the ego will only reinforce it. So you don’t try to get rid of it. You make friends with it. And when you have work to do or something new to learn, you move it to the side.”
“That makes sense.”
“The ego keeps you from getting stuff done, from creating something out of nothing, from being quiet and humble enough to sit, learn, listen and improve.”
“Now I hear you.”
“If that’s the case, if you’re really hearing me, then it’s because you moved the ego to the side, for the time being. It’s still there, you’re just keeping it in check. That you can do – but you cannot get rid of your ego.”
After our little talk that summer, the coach never wrote a book.
Because I’ve had similar conversations with other baseball coaches who have written books – lots and lots of books.
I love getting together with them from time to time to toast some eggos* and roast our egos.
I’ve written about a couple of them in Psycho-Cybernetics, Updated and Expanded.
Make sure you pick up a copy. And if you already have one – get another and give it to someone with a small ego.
P.S. For some stellar coaching that’ll take you to the next level – with zero gobbledeegook or blather about your ego – visit here…
* Eggo is the brand name of a waffle you pop in the toaster.