I freely admit that I have a healthy ego. No, that’s not quite right: My ego is the size of a city bus. Not one of the crappy ones that the CTA drives around Logan Square, I mean one of the big-ass concertina double buses that speed around tourist areas looking impressive. In the past I have gotten some shit from people for being full of myself, or “Thinking [I’m] so great,” as it’s often put. But do you know what? I don’t care! Because I AM so great! And this knowledge has gotten me though some really rough times.
Having a healthy ego doesn’t mean that you have to be a dick, because thinking you are fantastic isn’t the same thing as thinking you’re the most important person on the planet. That is the difference between having an ego and being self-centered & selfish. Don’t be those last things. At best, you’ll be an asshole. Nobody likes an asshole.
Imagine your ego as protection from the outside world. Even though it isn’t out to get you specifically, the world is a pretty harsh place and sometimes it’ll seem like it’s doing it’s damnedest to stab you in the back, roll you in a carpet and throw you off a cliff. That’s where your ego comes in: Consider it a pile of mattresses waiting at the bottom of said cliff to cushion your fall. You can’t prevent the bad things in life from happening (in this case, a long walk off a short precipice). But you can cope with them, you can bounce back from them and–MOST IMPORTANTLY–you can not let them affect your idea of yourself. If you know down to your bones that you’re magnificent and strong, you also know that mere events don’t change that. You are not the things that happen to you.
That’s why having an ego is so great: It makes it easier to be selective about the things that you let affect the core of who you are. Let your ego be a filter. Take in lessons that make you more awesome and keep out things that hurt you or make you feel small. Feed your ego. Stroke it a little. Know that in the whole vastness of the universe and in all of time, there’s only one combination of genetic material, life experiences and social constructs that made YOU. YOU will never, ever happen again. That makes you beyond incredible. Own exactly how incredible!
You get one life. You can either spend it wishing you were something else, or you can spend it knowing that you are absolutely glorious. I know what I’m choosing; what about you?