Overcoming ego in a competitive world – Isvara Pranidhana

Society is competitive.  We compete with one another for jobs.  We compete with one another for social status.  This is the way the world works.

Coping with competition can be a problem.  We see people we feel to be less deserving get better jobs than us, or be more successful in a business enterprise, or be thought of more highly, because they are better at “selling themselves”.  People who do a better job of letting others know how good they are reap rewards.  This provides pressure for us to tell others of our achievements and how good we are.

Competition involves comparing ourselves with others and this presents a danger to our egos.  If we see ourselves as being better than others, we risk becoming egotistical.  If we see others as being better than us, we risk becoming depressed.  Consequently, comparing ourselves with others is a lose-lose situation.  The solution to this problem is Isvara Pranidhana – surrendering the ego to love.  It is no easy task, but the rewards are great.

In my previous blog I explained that surrendering our ego to love means taking a deep look at ourselves – our thoughts and actions, and removing any self-centred motivation.  All that we think, say and do comes from a place deep in the heart that is inspired by love for all life.

If we do this, we remove the risk of comparing ourselves with others, whether we compete with them or not.  Instead, we take joy in the achievements of all people.  We conquer our own ego and find happiness in any outcome, no matter who the winner is.

To play the most effective role we can in society, we need to “sell ourselves”, telling others of our achievements.  This is necessary for society to make choices, to get the best person for the job, so to speak.  The key to doing this, without risk of depression or an inflated ego, is the attitude of love and selflessness that is Isvara Pranidhana.

With unconditional love for all people, every achievement of someone brings joy to our own heart.