We recently went on a short weekend holiday to Hilton Head Island, SC. Hilton Head is a wonderful place to relax, the focus is simply on family fun and beach time. One morning after a beach run, I perused the books at the hotel boutique and picked up Sh#t Your Ego Says by James McCrae. After quickly reading the back cover, I knew this was a book that would speak to me. Call it fear, call it ego, call it whatever you like, so often we allow our own minds to stop us from pursuing our dreams. James McCrae's introspective writing really delves into this topic in a fearless way. Most of you know that I love studying philosophy, so when I read McCrae's words, "Results never happen in isolation; they are a mirror reflection of our state of mind. Failure is a habit. So is success." I was hooked. (McCrae, 2017, p. 41). The word 'habit' always hearkens me back to Aristotle's famous quote, “Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” I truly love when philosophy from thousands of years ago can be related to everyday life and current topics. McCrae is purporting that in order for success to happen, we must work hard, have the right mindset, stay in the moment, and not allow the desired end goal to cloud the process. If our state of mind is on the result, we feel pressured to get to the end and our performance suffers. Essentially, our ego takes over and seeks validation for completion, not understanding the importance of enjoying the journey and remaining connected with our present state of mind, moment by moment. Similarly, Aristotle purported that we can only achieve excellence by acting appropriately each and every day. So, if excellence is achieved by acting rightly again and again, then it follows that excellence is actually a habit, not one act, but a habit. I do believe that McCrae's book makes a similar point, namely that when we remain connected with our thoughts, and do this with intention, again and again, we will achieve success by practicing good, mindful habits.
McCrae, J. (2017). Sh#t Your Ego Says. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.