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When does the Ego creep in?


Long ago, there was a fisherman in his 20s who had caught the largest and most expensive fishes in a month. He made an amazing amount of money just by selling those fishes that one time. Suddenly, a lot of people started talking about his one-time achievement. Fellow fishermen congratulated him, most of them looked at him with respect, buyers were impressed by his catch. Someone told him, "You don't even need to work for another 5 years with so much of fortune". People often exaggerate when they are appreciating others. The fisherman brushed it off, but some part of that compliment lingered in his mind.

By Xheng Hong
In the following week, the hardworking fisherman started taking some breaks, saying to himself, "I really can take some days off now that I have so much money." Slowly, those breaks started getting more frequent.

Eventually, his excellent practice of fishing also started fading away. He wouldn't catch many fishes, but he would always say, "I am still the guy who once caught hundreds of the most expensive fishes in ONE month! I don't have to work hard. I decide my future." Indeed he did.
After 5 years, he was still an average fisherman, with one GREAT achievement of 5 years ago in his bucket, while his fellow fisherman had prospered, and settled well in life now.
His Ego was even more at the top now. Once you start feeding the Ego, it takes all your idle time. Once it is exhausted with feelings of "the best", it floods the mind with negative thoughts of jealousy and insecurities.

He started blaming the other fishermen for his mediocre life, claiming that they took away his share of fishes from the sea. He started finding reasons to justify other's successes. He was a frustrated man.
Once his heart grew tired of hate, and he realized that others did not play any part in his failure, he was depressed. The delusion of Ego was finally broken by the sour realization of failure, but at what cost? Couldn't he have prevented it all together?
If only he would have focussed on the skill more than the money. If only he would have said, "It doesn't matter how much money I have. I will do it because I love fishing, and that is my duty."

It is often said, "Don't let success get into your head."

The saying is ignored by most people. It is ignored when people are in their day-to-day life. When you haven't yet achieved 'success' as defined by your terms, why would you think about its future? The saying is also invariably ignored by people who have already let their success into their head. Once your Ego has creeped in, it blocks your ears, it clouds your eyes. The only thing it frees is your mouth, and you keep talking like a free wild horse. Then you cannot think about anything.
Don't you think we must first understand when exactly do we become arrogant? When exactly does success get into our Head? 
The Ego does not creep in at the time of success. It creeps in at the time of idleness. The moment of success is an extremely pure moment. A thing like Ego cannot ruin it. You are just happy when you achieve something. You are thinking about the magnanimity of the contest that you have won, and simply blissful that you are there to enjoy it. The moment of success is humbling. If you do not think, even for 1 second, that you do not deserve the achievement, it is not an achievement. Then it cannot be called a success. How can you possibly be happy by getting something which was already beneath you?
So understanding the moment of success is very important.

That is why this line is the most famous one from the Bhagavad Gita:
कर्म करो और फल की चिंता मत करो
Do your duty, do not be deterred or influenced by the fruits of your actions.
 Sometimes Happiness can be a curse if you don't stick to your roots. With such a complex object in our head, the mind, it is impossible to keep our Egos and humility in check. Thus, the truest advice is, keep away from idleness. Be the happy saint that you are, and do what makes the inner child inside you happy.

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