Ideas, people and detachment

“To Destroy the Ego,
One Must First Find it”

-Wu Hsin, Aphorisms for Thirsty Fish

One ego suspension trick I find useful is to separate myself from my ideas. Once I think of and share an idea I mentally treat it as this thing that is different and separate from me.

So if someone says the idea sucks- I can view their feedback objectively. They’re not attacking me.   The way forward is not a choice between “my” idea and someone elses idea.  Its just a choice between ideas.

The same goes for actions already completed. If someone questions a move I made in backgammon, or someone I hired at my company, or a major life choice, I can view it objectively and potentially improve in the future.

Its kind indirect way to achieving the benefits of Kipling’s call to:

“… trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too. “

I just make it easier by stepping outside and not being attached to the “you”. The criticism and criticized are in the distance.

Sometimes this leads to better insight. There is no need to preserve an identity that may be attached to a particular idea. Just find the idea that is better according to some criterion and go there.

This isn’t a perfect system. There is only human software operating here. But it helps. Its a cruder version of what many great thinkers in the past have known.

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