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I'm Oprah Winfrey. Welcome to Super Soul Conversations, the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now.
The conversations I've shared with renowned thought leader and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle have been some of the most meaningful of my life. His wisdom has been so transformative I keep a copy of his book A New Earth on My Bedside Table. I didn't understand the true meaning of ego until I met Eckardt, I used to think the ego presented itself as arrogance, selfishness or feelings of superiority. But I know now that it's not always someone who's acting out or showing off.
Everyone has an ego, and I believe most people aren't even aware of how it affects their daily life. Understanding the ego's constant disruption to our spiritual development is such an integral lesson in our path to awareness that it's become one of my very favorite topics to discuss on Super Bowl Sunday. If you watch the show regularly, you will almost always hear me ask what role does the ego play in this situation? This is the essential question we should all be asking ourselves whenever we encounter difficulty, as you hear the words of wisdom selected for this chapter, you will begin to understand how the answer is universal.
The ego has the power to influence or derail every aspect of our lives. Accepting this as truth opens the door to where the real work begins. It was Eckardt who opened my eyes to how an ego based mine can dominate everything. Igoe represents that part of ourselves that identifies with our self-image, personality, talents, accomplishments and perceived weaknesses, everything that encompasses the false self. The ego draws a line and separates you from everyone else, it leads you to see the world as this is me and this is the other, when in fact we all share the same source of spiritual energy, the ego makes judgments and longs to feel special.
It loves conflict, creates enemies and operates out of fear. In those moments, if you call your false self out by saying, oh, that's my ego flaring up, you begin to diminish its power, you begin to recognize that you are not your past, your social status or the shape of your body. The size of your bank account has no bearing on your true self. What these conversations have taught me is that as we realize our own spiritual evolution, we have the miraculous ability to shed our current state of ego.
As Eckhart Tolle says, the ego cannot exist in consciousness. Up first, Eckhart Tolle. Have you lost your ego? Yes, you have completely. Well, let's see. Who knows? Tomorrow it may suddenly appear again. You let me know if it does, because I wouldn't know it if it's really the ego.
This is one of my favorite quotes from page 64. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge again. We're talking about going to present the divine within you and bringing that forth to whatever it is you do.
Yes, because trying to be good is often to improve one's self image. Right? You have that's ego driven. Ultimately, it's ego. So you try and some people each, for example, have been trying for centuries to love their neighbor as themselves. Right. But most of them have been finding it very difficult because love your neighbor as yourself really means. First of all, you need to be in touch with yourself, the self that you are beyond the farm yet.
And then you can love your neighbor as yourself because you recognize your oneness with your neighbor.
And so what you're saying is, that's so beautiful. I get it. Lots of bingbing, a hozier. You're not what love your neighbor as yourself, as you're interpreting. It is not as yourself. The personality. No, not as yourself. Who's out there mowing the lawn. It doesn't mean if you go to the theater, give your neighbor tickets to the theater or whatever it means. The deeper always. Yes. Inner self. Yes. Higher self.
So love I call love the recognizing yourself in the other and yourself your essential self is consciousness. Got it. Then I begin when I then meet people and interact with people. I see them on two levels or feel them on two levels. On one level they are the form. Yes. Which is the body and their psychological makeup. Correct. On another level they are the consciousness that I also am because underlying the body and the mind is the consciousness out of which the body and the mind have come.
And that is still there. That pure.
I see that in every person that you encounter. Yes. Yeah.
And that makes it much easier to interact with people in much more pleasant, because sometimes the personality, the psychological makeup is not that wonderful. Yes. And then one is able to let that be because you can sense that beyond that, there is an essence to that human being.
Next up, Wayne Dyer, it's like the first nine months of your life with going back to your conception, trusted God for everything. Everything you didn't say, oh, my God, I hope I get a nose and I hope he shows up in the right place. You was totally, completely into surrender. Then you come out OK at the ninth month or that you pop out and you get surrounded by people who say that's really good work, got really good work, will take over from here.
Yeah. And the minute you start taking over from here, what happens is you develop an ego which is where you edge got out ego you edge got out OK.
And so now I never heard it that way before. That is so good. I just got out and you just pushed up to the side. And what is this ego. What is it. It is, it's, it, it's an idea.
It's all it is. It's an idea that we carry around. You know what the idea of the ego is? It says, I am what I have. I am what I do. I am what other people think of me. I'm separate from everybody else. I'm separate from what's missing in my life and I'm separate from God. Those are the six components of the ego, and that's what we're raised on and what we're trained on. Meantime, we showed up here.
We didn't have to do a thing.
This is Father Richard Raw.
So you believe within each of us there is one which I sense that, too. There's a true self and a false self.
And our goal in life is to follow the road, the path, the light to whatever is the truth, the truth.
And how do we know, which is why the false self is the fabricated, concocted self that we have to do. It's not wrong. The false self is not bad. But it's your persona. It's your education. It's your race. It's your sexual orientation. It's your country, all of which are necessary to create an ego structure. It's not you.
It's the answer that people most often give when somebody says, Who are you? Yeah. Or What do you do? Yeah, I am one of them. My name. I do the tons of songs that my mother is onto. And you're saying, although but in some ways that is a real self. It is.
That's how I wanted to say it's not bad. You don't put it down. It's the raw material that you fall through to find your true self.
How do we get to that true self? That's the goal. I want to be in newspaper. I think you are, but none of us are 24 hours a day. It's largely a matter of letting go of the false self. Like, let's say someone doesn't kiss up to me and call me father or respect my importance or my intelligence or the fact that you've written 30 books. Yeah.
So I'm offended for how many seconds? I don't know. But then I say now what part of you, Richard, was offended. It's always the false self. The true self can't be offended if there's nothing to offend. If it's too large, it's too grounded. It's too real. That's my simple rule of thumb, Oprah. How to recognize the false self whenever you take offense. Welcome, Bernie Brown to me, I call the ego The Hustler.
He's my hustler. Yeah, that's a good term for it. Yeah, he's the hustler. And the ego says to me, you have no inherent worth. You got to hustle for it, baby. How fast you going to run, how how are you going to jump, how many likes do you have on Facebook? How many comments do you have on that post? That's the hustle.
Yeah, and isn't it we now live in a culture that measures itself ourselves by how many likes we get? Sure. Yeah. Yeah, we are. I feel like scarcity culture. Never enough, never good enough than enough, rich enough, safe enough, certain enough, and you know, what I think is interesting is I want to get your thought on this just because you've also been looking in the faces of people for the last. Many years, right?
Yeah, I started my research six months before 9/11. Obviously, coincidentally, we are afraid. I would do the last 12 years have been marked by a deep fear in our culture, it's like a collective post-traumatic response, like all of a sudden, oh my God, I just had a big aha.
That was such a big I. I you know, I can tell you I said that I just realized that we shifted from being on alert and afraid of whether it's the orange code or the yellow code.
We somehow internalized that fear and it shows up. It shows up and the bickering and the snarky ness that we have internalized the fear. So we're not worried about what the code alert is anymore because we think we're safe there. We got Homeland Security looking at that. But that fear has been internalized.
That's what I heard you say. That's it. Dr. Shefali Sabari, we are one we we are one hour one, yes, then we enter the ego. We split off from that source and enter ego. And the way the parenting paradigm has been set up is just designed for even a greater boost of ego than I've ever seen in any other relationship. And what how does the ego sound? It's my I correct. When we start talking like this, I as a parent, my child.
Right. The possession, the ownership, it's inherent. That's why I love this relationship, because it's such a trick from the universe. You know, the universe gives you children. It says they're yours. So it seduces you to thinking it's mine. Like you have to call them mine. Right. I'm not wrong in saying mine, but yet the child comes out and says, I'm not you, I'm not you, I'm not you. Now deal with me.
Attune to me. Do you recognize my spirit? I will not belong or be yours. I can come through you, but I will not be yours. So let's take a big myth. They're all big. But the first one I talk about is that parenting we've been told, is about raising the child. And parents say to me, well, what could be wrong with that, who should I be raising? Yes. And when I turned the spotlight to them and I say that you cannot even dare to have the audacity to think about raising another being until you yourself are parents, you have raised your own self to the highest level of evolution.
Then you can aspire to meet this being who is living in the present, who has no attachment to identity. Our children, young ones under the age of five, they're not attached to. How do I look? Am I complete? Do I need to become someone? They say to the world they declare if they had a chance, they are born knowing there enough.
They don't think I need to become a lawyer or a scientist. Go to any Ivy League school to give themselves a stamp of approval. We put this lack onto them. So if we continue with this idea that we are noble beings, selfless. Right. And I tell parents, you have to own that. There's a big degree, a high amount of narcissism, ego, desire to fulfill your own self, to have children. Parenting is not selfless.
There are elements of selflessness in it. But the driving force to have a child comes from your own desire to complete something within you. Wow. And that's why children revolt. Either they withdraw because they've just been shackled with compliance after compliance or they revolt. And then, boy, then we are told by culture, oh, now you better punish them. Your culture is not outside of us, you know. Yeah. So the myth is that parenting is about the child even though you are parenting your child.
Parenting is really about you.
If you don't raise yourself first and parent yourself, you will then aspire to make your child a mini version of yourself. So you're actually not even raising the child and you're just raising yourself. So let's just call it what it is. Rein that ego in, parent yourself, and then you will attuned to your child. Then you will make space for the spirit of your child to unfold.
Oprah's super cell conversations presenting partner in Ireland is or will be. Are you using the right tools in your oral care routine? Get that dentist clean feeling at home with an oral B electric toothbrush, pound brush and removes up to 100 percent more plaque than a manual brush, giving you whiter teeth and healthier gums and just 30 days. So it's easy to see why Oral B is the number one dentist recommended brand worldwide. The all the electric toothbrush range is now half price in Ireland in tons and boots until Christmas.
Jack Canfield, how big a role does our own negativity play into what the future is? I know you write about gossip.
You say gossip and judgment affect you too, because you end up releasing a poison into the river of energy. I love this. That is set up to bring you that what you truly want.
It's releasing a poison into the river of energy that's set up to bring you that what you truly want. Right?
Every time we are negative about someone else, we are actually affecting ourselves. And the other thing it's important, you know this, too, because I've heard you talk about it, is every time we judge someone else, it's just a projection of our own self judgement parts of ourselves. We don't accept the parts of ourselves we won't give permission to express. And so basically, you know, the old thing when you're pointing your fingers, three fingers pointing back.
And so I always tell people is that whatever you focus on, you get more of it. So if I'm gossiping about someone that I'm judging or being negative about, then I'm actually creating more negativity inside of me. And I'm not focusing on what I want. And what I teach in the success principles is you always want your focus to be on what do you want to be producing in life? What are your goals, what are the qualities you want to be experiencing?
And if you're not doing that, then you're wasting your time. You're not going to get to where you want to go.
Jeff Weiner, there was an article about you, about your evolution that Fortune magazine did a while back. And you were described as someone who, quote, wielded your fierce intelligence like a blunt instrument. And when you read that, you felt what?
I think when I was a younger executive, I had a tendency to make the same mistake that a lot of inexperienced executives make, which is projecting onto your team the way you do things and expecting them to do things the way you do. And when there's any kind of dissonance, when someone's not doing things the way you expect them to be done, you can get frustrated and you express that frustration and it's a mistake. And what's far more effective is to end this in part as we're managing compassionately comes from, is to get out of your own head to recognize that not everyone has the same strength to recognize that once you understand what motivates somebody, what they're good at, where they find challenges, what they're fearful of, you can get the most out of that person.
Yeah, and it was through an interaction I had with my own manager. Where I was expressing to that person that I felt they were not managing compassionately, that I realized I was actually doing the exact same thing was going on, tell me that I think this is this is a good story.
You're in a meeting and somebody is being a jerk and constantly being passive aggressive.
Yeah, we would get together a team of leaders as part of the staff meeting for this individual. And there was a colleague of mine, a member of this person's team, who was very effective in their role. But they weren't doing the job the way our manager wanted them to do the job. Yeah. And so it would frustrate them to no end and they would make jokes at this person's expense. They would undermine them in front of the team.
And I remember thinking this is not good for the individual, wasn't good for my boss, and it wasn't good for us as a team. So we would have one on ones every now and again. And I said, hey, I've got to give you some feedback. I said, The next time you feel like making a joke at this person's expense or you get frustrated and let them know in front of all of us, you should go find a mirror and express that frustration to yourself.
Well, because you're the reason they're in the role. And if you don't like the way they're doing their job, take the time to coach them. And if they're not capable of doing the job the way you believe, they should be able to do the job, find another role for them. And if that's not going to work out, then transition them and do it in a way that's compassionate and constructive. And a couple of weeks later, we reconvened and he said, I have to thank you for your advice.
And he's saying this. I realized I was doing the exact same thing, someone on my team, the exact same thing. And so in that moment, I kind of vowed that as long as I was going to be responsible for managing other people, I was going to aspire to manage compassionately where I wasn't necessarily trying to have them do things the way I did them. But I was putting myself in their shoes, understanding what motivated them, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, and try to to lead as effectively as possible.
So compassionate leadership is really like getting to the heart and soul of what a company really is.
Compassionate leadership begins with the connection between individuals and a company is comprised of people. That's all it is. So when you are building upon a foundation of compassionate management, ultimately what the company is about, its vision, its mission, its culture, its values, all of that stuff is manifested in the way that its leadership is leading the way the managers are managing. So in that regard, yes, managing compassionately becomes a bedrock of an organization. Phil Jackson.
And talk about benching the ego in 11 rings and how important that is as a step to bench that ego, but in a world where and particularly for those of us on the outside world, it just looks like I mean, that's a world filled with a lot of not just big but tall egos for sure.
And money and money is there. And, you know, we have a, you know, salary cap and everybody is trying to reach the maximum salary cap. And there's all these very many great pressures on these young men. To really serve themselves because they're thinking, it's my family, I'm looking after my group, my family, my mom, my dad, and, you know, they want to provide and you have to forget about the family, your contract, where you're going to be next year, the fact that you're not guaranteed all these things have to be set aside, that we have to be in the moment.
Now, you know, when you address this, I never thought of it this way before for a player, you said because I started as a player, I've always been able to empathize with young men facing the harsh realities of life in the NBA. Now, I thought harsh realities in the NBA. Most players, you say, live in a constant state of anxiety, worrying about whether they're going to be hurt or humiliated, cut or traded, or worst of all, make a foolish mistake that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
When I was with the Knicks, I was sidelined for more than a year with a debilitating back injury. And that experience allowed me to talk with players. I've coached from personal experience about how it feels when your body gives out and you have to ice every joint after a game or even sit on the bench for an entire season. You know, I thought when I read that no experience ever goes wasted because that had happened to you. You were able to relate to somebody else in your coaching field who had to go through it.
I was once invited to a little conclave. Bill Bradley put it together and he opened it. There were seven couples there that were sharing ideas. He opened that by saying, I want you to tell the story of your biggest. Failure that turned into your greatest asset. Hmm. And it was amazing to listen to all the story. My story was that story obviously sidelined team playing well in New York and having to sit out in the consequence of that led me into greater understanding of being a player.
Not only that, but a relationship with a coach that probably spawned where I'm at today with my career, puma children, a lot of people I've encountered the losing the job, the failure coming in any kind of form. What it really gets to is at the core of it, you feel like you really messed up and you are fundamentally a mess. A mess. Yeah. Yeah. And that's an ego thing, isn't it? That's the crux of ego.
The main attachment is to that. Yeah, to that. But if you just say let's just say let's make friends with the ego rather than try to obliterate it or call it bad and making friends with it means no, it one hundred percent completely don't reject it. And believe it or not, that's how you begin to become more egoless person. Because the only reason we do this, grasping and fixating and all of this, what we call ego, if I'm making sense here, is because we feel we have something to protect.
We don't want to go to that place. We don't want to feel that way. Yeah, and this is why I teach is because if people can hold or embrace or allow or get their nervous system so they can handle the suffering, the uncomfortableness, the insecurity, the discontent, then. There is a chance of letting the evolution happen. I'm Oprah Winfrey, and you've been listening to Super Soul Conversations, the podcast you can follow Super Soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
If you haven't yet, go to Apple podcast and subscribe rate and review this podcast. Join me next week for another super soul conversation. Thank you for listening.