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Ego and attitude || Acharya Prashant, archives (2013)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
3 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): The question asked by Himanshu is, “What is the difference between ego and attitude?” Let's see.

Ego is internalization of an external statement about you, right? Ego says, “I am something.” And that something comes from outside, right? The moment you are something, there will be an attitude associated with that identity. To be something is an identity, and with every identity, there is an attitude. For example, the moment you are an Indian, your attitude towards an India-Pakistan match will be that India must win. You will watch that match with an attitude. The moment you have an identity, attitude comes along with it. Ego leads to attitude because ego says, “I am something”. And with that something, comes a particular attitude.

If you say, for example, and if you deeply believe… you have been told all along that, “I am very hesitant, I am very very hesitant; and that I have a great fear of the podium, I have a great fear of standing upon the podium.” And you have internalized it. People have been telling you, you know, in those situations, they all have been telling you that this fellow is very shy, and you have internalized it. And you have come to deeply believe that you are hesitant. And when you introduce yourself to somebody, you say, “You know, I am an introvert fellow who does not like to socialize too much.” And it has become a deep-seated belief with you.

The immediate result of this will be an attitude toward many things… let's say towards the HIDP classes (The program designed by Acharya ji for the holistic development of individuals.) You will not want to enter because you will believe that here you will be forced to speak, a situation will be created where you have to face an audience. So, your attitude will be: Avoid!, just avoid, run away!

With every statement of ego comes a statement of attitude. And these two are very very closely linked. In fact, all aspects of our attitude come from a corresponding aspect of the ego. So, wherever and whenever, you are able to detect a particular attitude in yourself; attitude towards anything, towards people, towards food, towards dress, towards country, towards studies, towards career. Whenever you are able to detect a particular attitude, it would be a good exercise to find out the ego statement from which it is coming. Because attitude will be necessarily based upon ego, attitude will be necessarily based upon ego. Right?

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