Some two and a half millennia ago, in what is now Southern Italy, there lived a legendary wrestler by the name of Milo of Croton.
A six-time Olimpic Champion, Milo’s career spanned over 24 years, during which he was undoubtedly the best wrestler of his generation. He is said to have been able to carry a bull on his shoulders and to have burst a band about his brow by simply inflating the veins on his temples.
But what can this ancient wrestler teach us about success?
The ego is not the enemy is often portrayed to be.
Defined as a person’s sense of self-esteem, the ego has become a sort of villain in the personal development community, mostly by Ryan Holiday trying to sensationalize a rather complicated and often nuanced philosophy called stoicism.
Your ego is not your enemy. Your ego is not an excuse for being obnoxious, arrogant, or self-centered.
Everyone, no matter their level of success in life, struggles with their inner critic.
It’s just how it is.
Most of my twenties were controlled by the debilitating beliefs that are often the side-effect of a too harsh inner critic. I was often paralyzed by fear. Wrecked by insecurity. I struggled with high-functioning depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
“Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.”
Even though it doesn’t feel like it, we spend most of our lives waiting. We find ourselves at one end of a dark tunnel and we wait for someone or something to take us by the hand and lead us toward the light on the other side.