I’m deeply thinking about a complex personal dilemma, the details of which are not important here. I decided to turn for ideas to Ryan Holiday’s newest book, Courage is Calling. If you ever wanted to be brave about something and need to be pumped up to act, this book is for you. I want to be brave BUT asked myself, “Is my desire to be brave being driven by my EGO?” I decided to revisit the ideas in an earlier book of Holiday’s called Ego is the Enemy.
I encourage reading both books – then perhaps what I’m about to say will make more sense.,..
If ego is my enemy, then can the brave thing my ego is calling me to do be courageous, or even smart? If courage is a virtue, is courage still a virtue when called on by ego?
So confusing, until…
Holiday’s books seemed in conflict until I concluded this: if courageous behavior is stimulated by ego, then it’s not courage – it’s something else – somewhere on a continuum between vanity and foolhardiness. I’ve decided that true courage is not ego centric – it’s bravery centered in rational thought and humility.