"The ego can be really useful. You don't want to switch it off all the time. It motivates and it inspires. But when you're thinking big picture, when you're trying to see it a holistic direction, you kind of have to let it go." — Fraser Cameron
Epic performance coach Fraser Cameron joins us to discuss how to define your vision and purpose without letting your EGO get in the way.
What is ego? When is it helpful? When does it distract us from what we truly want?
This episode is taken from a recent presentation in our Freedom Circle – our private men’s membership group designed to help you create “holistic” freedom in your life.
Based in New Zealand, Fraser is a coach who helps successful men transform from who you are into who you WANT to be - more fun and impact, supercharged relationships and health & wellbeing AND ultimate freedom and fulfillment.
FULL RAW TRANSCRIPT OF THIS EPISODE:
FRASER CAMERON: Well, don't know where to go from there, but thank you very much. Okay. Um, I greatly appreciate that. So let's let that I think for, for me, I was thinking about my journey and how, when I first started my journey 10 years ago. Oh how my ego was my biggest. And how my, my view of ego and what it was, was holding me back and forcing me to, to play small.
And, and over the years, I've realized that when we learn how to use it, it can become a really powerful ally, right. When we learn how to turn it on and how to turn it off, it becomes a really powerful ally. And as some of you, you know, I've, I've got a client that's currently sitting in this room with us.
Hi Richard. It's good to see you. Um, again, um, I work with men much like Curt I it's sort of morphed into the fact that it became only men. I started a program working with the, trying to help them create more time, more freedom, more joy in their life. And it sort of morphed over time and to helping men, um, even though all of them are dads, but it's helping men to, to leave.
The rat race and to create their own freedom, their way, right. To do, to do what they want to do when they want to do it, how do they want to do it? And with home? Um, and the reason why ego is so important that, and there is that it's often the ego that holds us back from having the things that we want. So when I refer to ego, I'm not referring so much to the arrogant side, but more to the self.
Right. So when we make it all about. Us and CA when you are chatting about what we're going to talk about today, around the vision and the purpose, I really want to start with purpose. I want to ask you guys and feel free to jump in. Um, do you guys all have a defined purpose? I'm sure. Sitting here working with Kurt, you have, but do you all have a defined purpose?
Yeah, no, maybe. So what a lot of people do is you and I we're both guilty of us in the past. I used to define my purpose. As my family, right? My family, I'm here to help and provide for my family and all that. Can anyone identify any issues with that?
It's really ego driven. It's all about me. It's all about how it impacts me. And the result of it is that makes what we do. Quite small. Right. We end up playing quite small. We end up then not only does it put a gray. I remember actually my dad saying to me when I was younger, that he did everything for me.
All right. That puts so much pressure on me. I've got to go off and make the most of this world because my dad has given up everything just for me. Right. And now, funnily enough, he's quite a grumpy 75 year old man. We don't actually get on particularly well, because he's so grumpy because of things he missed out on.
Right. So it made me realize that. Having family as a purpose was so incredibly limited. So I had someone challenged me and go, if you take the ego out of that, if you take the bit, that's about you out of it and what you want and what you can achieve and what, what is it you would want your purpose to be?
And I had no answer. I'm like, I don't know, change the world, you know, be happy, all these other sort of things. And then it made me realize how we are driven by how we see us. What our role is in it and what we do. So what if we can take ourselves out of it? What if we, can you still using their ego in terms of what we want to see, but asking ourselves.
What would make the world better? What does an outcome we want to see in the world? And I remember talking to you about this kit four and a half years ago, when you started to, you got clear on your purpose. And then two weeks later had closed down a, a seven figure agency and we're going on a path that was completely different, but you were suddenly free because it was no longer about the ego.
It wasn't about what you could do, but it was about the change that you, that you wanted to see. Alright. So I think for me, realizing that their ego should not be at the center of what we do actually ironically allows you to play bigger and make more impact, which appeals to the part of the ego that likes to be important.
So there's some real irony in that as well, but the ability to strip it back and to go, what is it? Uh, what does that, what impact do I want to say beyond my family beyond just my little way, fif them, my little weak community. What impact do I want to say? What change do I want to see in the world? And that starts to unlock opportunities that starts to unlock excitement around what it is you can do.
And then when that ego comes back and you switch it back on again, and you go, what part do I want to play? Right. So I'll give you, I'll give you an example. My, my purpose as a world where people challenge conventional wisdom and the status quo and go beyond what they thought possible. That's the outcome I want to see.
I want to see a world where people are going, no, I'm going to do it my way and achieving amazing things. Right? So my role in there, the ego part of that is me helping people like Kurt, like Richard, to be able to achieve that in the right. Right to be able to go hang on, what do I want that to look like?
And how do I make it happen? So that's where the ego comes in. That's the bit that I'm good at that I can help. But the cool thing about having a purpose, that's not ego driven is that other people become part of it. Right? That's my purpose was my family. Who else has one? I'm going to go into, want to be involved in that other than my family, no one.
Right. But when my purpose is the something bigger, I attract people like two other people in this room. To come on that journey with me. Right? And so you then end up creating a movement or a revolution or an evolution or a someone called a cult the other day. And I didn't like that connotation at all, but you create a movement towards where everyone is moving to create change and everyone is achieving something.
So it suddenly starts to attract other people to you. And the other benefit of it not being ego-driven. When it's about you, you can make excuses, you can get up and go. I can't be bothered today. I'm not going to do anything about it today. But when it's something bugger, when it's about change, that you're wanting to do, wanting to create suddenly the ego comes out of it and you're like, I'm going to do this today.
I'm going to create something that's impactful. I'm going to create something that is beyond, um, what I can do myself. I'm going to take other people's. Something else. That's a benefit of stripping. The ego away is when the ego is involved, you can answer this when the ego is involved. Do you see limitations on what you're capable of?
Oh yeah. Yeah. If you haven't done it before, if you've never, if you don't know how to do it, you suddenly go, I can't do that. Right. If you take the ego away and go, right, this is what I want to achieve. How do I go about that? What do I need to do? You're much more likely to come up with that. Right. If you say to me, back in my ego driven days, that I was going to create a movement that was going to change the world, I would have literally laughed at you.
Despite the fact that arrogant side of me would have liked to believe that it was possible. I wouldn't have known how or where to start. And so when you strip the ego, while you realize it's not just about you, but it's actually about the people that you bring around you on the journey, and there's so much more power.
Um, and I think I was chatting to a guy the other day on LinkedIn. Um, he reached out to me and he said, how did you get to where you are? And I said, I struck the ego out of it. And he goes, what do you mean? He said, and I said, well, tell me about your life. You're doing exactly what you want to do. And he goes, yes, I provide to my family.
And I see does that all you want to achieve as that, the ultimate achievement for you just providing for your family. And he goes, it's good. Right. And so his ego was saying, he's doing a good job, so that's good enough. So he stopped and settled with where he was there. And I remember when I first met him, he told me all these things he wanted to achieve.
Right. Or he wanted to create impact. He wanted to, he was introverted. He wanted to be able to enable other introverted people to step out there and have confidence. But he stopped doing that because the ego got in the way and it kept his goal. So. Right. And he'd achieve that. And he was now settling and that's what I see so many.
And we're all men here. So we can say so many and we're probably all middle-aged as well. Apologies if anyone's less than middle-aged and I've put you in that bracket. But if we settle at middle age, that's a long time left in your life to just cruise along. Right. So you sit all the ego goes, this is as good as I'm going to get.
This is where I'm at. I've made it now. I've got my family supported. That's uh, I, I was reading, um, You got, if you haven't already go and look up a palliative nurse called Bronnie ware, um, I'm pretty sure she's Australian. Um, we won't hold that against her, but she, um, she researched the top five regrets of the dying and the number one regret was essentially paraphrasing here, living someone else's.
Doing the things you thought you should do, not the things you wanted to do and not creating the impact you want to do. Right. And she interviewed all these people. And one of the sky, the sky was blissfully happy. He'd given up his career as a wall street banker to do pottery. And he was the only one in this one race time that she spoke to who was happy.
It was basically broke. He said he didn't make much money in the second half of his life, but he was blissfully happy. You did pottery. If an asset was there, talked about all the things they wanted to do, that they need. All right. So it just shows you like the number one regret is not doing the things that you want to do and not living the life you want to do.
And the best way to do that is by letting go of the ego. Right. And I think you raised a point before that ego is really useful. You don't want to switch it off all the time. Like it's important that motivates another inspires. But when you're thinking big picture, when you're trying to see it a holistic direction, you kind of have to let it go.
Yeah. You kind of have to take away the. That, that self part about it, but what is the impact that we want to create on the world? I actually think the world and the shocking state that it is at the moment, because this team of people that ego-driven, it's all about them, what can they do for them? If we actually all thought about what can we do to advance where we're at?
We probably wouldn't be in the state of the world.