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Ego Is The Mind Killer January 23, 2008

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine, Coaching, Mythology, Problem Solving.
Tags: , , ,

Years ago when ActiveEngine Sensei attended Kenshu, he was struck by the fact that some of the most humble of the akidoka were the seniors. Every class the students were exposed to shi-doho style of teaching, when O-Sensei would select a technique, one from among thousands, and then select a student at random to demonstrate in front of the class. After demonstrating the technique, the other students would ask questions. Many times these questions forced you to realize how little you knew, while on other occasions the senior’s questions were merely a convention to tell you that you had made a mistake.

But this was not the most brutal part. After the question and answer session finished, O-Sensei would then deliver his critique, which could cover any foible, any weird movement, tone of voice that occurred in your delivery. This was difficult to hear. Some times a senior would be selected to demonstrate the most basic technique, then receive unending criticism.

But one senior explained to ActiveEngine Sensei, who was left discouraged and afraid after many stinging reviews, that this was the best gift you could get from the seniors and O-Sensei.

“What an opportunity. You have people who think enough of you to ask questions, point out errors and give things for you to work on. The harsh style is to train your ego, because your ego just gets in the way.”

Developers need to be shown things – they’re the “Show me guys”, but many fall into the “Show-me-no-don’t-show-me” syndrome where their egos cloud their thoughts.  For those of you who want to get to the next level of performance and build your own ActiveEngine, check your ego barometer every now and then. This way you will open yourself to learning a lot more.


1. Bob Turek - January 24, 2008

Ah yes the dreaded ego. This has gotten me in trouble more times than I care to admit- on projects, in my family relationships, and even to the point of losing a job. I’ve been able to wrestle it to the ground but it still pops up every once in awhile. Raising a family did wonders for my life long ego suppression project.

2. ActiveEngine Sensei - January 24, 2008

Humility is hard to come by until you have had 2 year throw up all over you, right before you need to jump in the car and head to work. Yes, my wife and kids have done wonders in regards to checking my ego.

The other thing that a family has done for me is sharpen my focus – I can’t waste time when the kids call.

3. Discipline is the Mind Liberator « ActiveEngine - January 24, 2008

[…] Problem Solving. Tags: ActiveEngine, Ego, Liberation trackback As a corollary to the post Ego is the Mind Killer, a practitioner of ActiveEngine principles will always seek the basics and routine to liberate the […]

4. Bob Turek - January 28, 2008

Well, as long as you brought that up- my 3 year old threw up on my light gray suit just before leaving for the airport in early 90s- I just let out a howl- probably scarring her for life. Didn’t handle it well at all. Come to think of it (and I often do), this was probably a turning point in my ego suppression efforts.

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