The only requirement for a person to make sure he does not succeed is by guaranteeing that you hold on to your ego. Now, what is Ego? Ego is most misunderstood word in society. We only look at the upper most and superficial layer of the word. We think ego is about undue pride in front of others. Wrong. Ego is not a trait that you are born with. There are a few traits every human being is born with. Such as happiness…Hunger…Tiredness, Energy, etc… But fear and ego are two things that we learn as we grow older. Take a one year old child and put a snake in front of him, he will have no fear. Take that same child and put him naked in front of a million people, he will have no self doubt. But as we grow older, we learn both self consciousness and fear. Self consciousness in Negative extreme is ego. What would others think of Me or This or that? That is the first step of ego. Subsequent steps are your own thoughts, such as, why should i say sorry to him/her? He is beneath me that is why i will not visit his home…etc etc etc. A sure way to kill your talent and your process of self awareness is ego. Self awareness is a process which leads to everything successful. You try something, get to know that you like it, develop a growing interest in it, get better at it, and succeed. But the first step of the process of self awareness is beginning to do it without Ego. If you kill that first step based on your ego, you kill every possibility of further development which will lead to success.
My first job in America was cleaning tables and mopping the floors at the age of 16 years at Burger King. Newly landed in America, full of a typical Pakistani teenager’s ego, i thought that cleaning tables is absolutely beneath me. But i do not know how except to know that Allah was guiding me, that i was able to kill that thought immediately, accepted that job, cried many a times out of pain of ego being crushed systematically and daily, but forged ahead. The best thing i ever did on the road to success was that i killed my ego at its inception. If you asked me the secret of whatever i have accomplished in life, i would answer that, I have no ego. In my act or in my thoughts. Every human has same respect in my eyes. Every job has dignity to me. Listening to other’s point of view regardless of how opposite it might be from you, to me is the secret of learning. But you can only listen to opposing and at times even insulting views of others against you and still have the open mindedness to learn from it..is the beginning of your success. And that is confidence in yourself that nobody can disrespect you because respect is in the hands of Allah. The moment you think that you control your own respect, than you start to fight to preserve something that you can never preserve, your respect based on your ego.
Most of the ego in our society is tied to external
factors. Your job position becomes so close to your ego that as the position
rises so does your ego. Your wealth rises, so does your ego. Your fame rises,
so does your ego. And by any chance, if all these things are taken away in a
second, you are destroyed along with your ego. Its like building a cement house
on paper pillars. One gust of wind and pillars fall and so does your life based
on those egotistical external factors. It is so painful of a process to kill
your KHUDI or your ANA, that it will be a life long battle. Every single day of
your life you will have to fight it, and win it. Every moment you will have to
tell yourself that you are nothing. Not nothing compared to other human beings
but nothing in comparison to the universe and its creator.
Every bad day for your ego, will be the best day
for your personal growth. No business, no venture, no personal relationship, no
connection even with Allah SWT can ever grow with your ego intact. I have seen
people refuse to go for Hajj because because they could not find a 5 star hotel
and a first class seat. I have seen the heads of state, make arrangements of
PROTOCOL, to accompany them in Kaaba. I often thought when i saw such behaviour,
would their FUNERAL have a First Class Ticket to the 5 star Grave that they
will be buried in ? Will the MUNKIR and NAKEER have to take an appointment to
question them of their Aamaal in their Grave ? Maybe that is what they think
they can do….Maybe..