The word “ego” has become derogatory in our culture. Dumping your ego is therefore hard, because it’s hard to admit you actually have one. “Me? I don’t have an ego!” The ego is an outer shell, an external layer of protection that is built over years. It is the belief in our self-importance that in turn reassures us that we know better and do better than anyone else. In simple words, our ego helps us lie to ourselves so we can feel better. The cost of this “comprehensive protection package” is a much distorted perception of reality. The ego will manipulate what we see with our own eyes to show us that we are right, giving us immediate comfort. It’s comforting to think that others are to blame and that others mess up because they are simply not as smart as your magnificent self. Nine out of ten times when you think people plot against you, have hidden agendas, dare speak to you that way, and so on – your ego is making it up. The cost that one’s ego deducts from their personal happiness account is significant. According to spiritual leader and best-selling author Byron Katie, having a big ego brings about a lot of stress, as it burdens the person with the ongoing effort to hold a false identity. Also, from a strength-perspective, egoistic behavior is an expression of weakness. People who are deeply strong are kind, empathetic, and compassionate. Research shows that people who are grateful, generous, and forgiving (“weak” from an ego perspective) are the happiest. Be important to others, not self-important. You can’t keep your eyes on the road and the scenery if you keep checking your looks in the mirror.