Connect with us


Overcoming the Ego



Many of us would, if we knew what on earth the ego was. Indeed, trying to understand the totality of the human psyché is complex. Plato and Aristotle divided our psyché into three parts; so did Freud with the id, ego, and super-ego.

Modern psychologists describe the ego as the inner-narrator of our self-consciousness; umpiring our thoughts, feelings, and actions. The ego’s judgements produce inner-conflict and creates identity crises. The ego is impulsive rather than logical, visceral rather than reasonable.

Understanding the different ways the ego operates leads to overcoming it. Here are 8 manifestations:

1. Materialism 

The Vedics called it Ahaṃkāra; tying your self-worth together with objects—a car, a house, a piece of jewelry. Ahaṃ refers to the Self; kāra is “any created thing.” When an object has the ability to make you feel better or worse, you’re caught in Ahaṃkāra, of ego-attachment.

Advertisers exploit the ego and make us believe we’ll feel better buying their product. Ironically, it’s low self-esteem that increases materialism. But it’s reversible; increasing self-esteem through highlighting your immaterial qualities — your sense of humor, your drive, your character, breaks the ego’s materialistic bondage.

Find your value and identity apart from external objects — the things that cannot be taken away from you.

2. Trapped in the Past

The ego can go from romanticizing your past, to degrading and trapping you in your past. When scars begin to heal, it rips them open again; when working toward a great future, it whispers that your best days are behind you.

Our egos are afraid of the unknown. Our past experiences — good or bad — are familiar, and we’re comfortable with what’s familiar. It’s the reason many stay in bad relationships.

Realize your past does not define you, nor will it dictate your future. Although the ego’s intention may be to keep you safe by being comfortable, the pull towards the past cripples what is being created in your present, and for your future.

3. Inferiority Complex

The ego doesn’t just live next door to the Joneses, it mows their lawn, for free. It constantly speaks the language of “not good enough.” Any achievement is undermined, any accomplishment is mocked. Overcoming the inferiority caused by ego means ceasing to play the comparison game; stepping away from the rat-race.

The ego dissolves when you run your own race, and step to the beat of your own drum. Find satisfaction in who you are today, and who you will become tomorrow. When the ego keeps looking to others, you need to look in the mirror.

4. Limitations and Scarcity

Our brain’s reticular activation system (RAS) brings to attention what we subconsciously mark as important. If you’re considering a new BMW, you’ll start noticing them everywhere.

The ego’s focus is one of limitation; it’s short sighted, and driven by fear of running out. As a result, your RAS sees everything in a limited sense: not only finances, but also happiness and healthy relationships.

The ego always see the glass half empty and the cloud without the silver lining. Our perceptions shape reality, if you focus on limitations, you will surely experience them. Silence the ego, and choose to see the world of abundant possibilities.

5. Self-Sabotage

Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” The ego doesn’t think so. It prefers to keep you in bubble-wrap rather than risk being hurt. And so when something is heading in a good direction, the ego orchestrates destructive behavior to avoid the ‘risk’ and stay safe. Remember the ego is afraid of the unknown, good or bad.

Embrace the experience, and be conscious of your ego trying to steer you off course just because you’re heading toward an unknown destination. Never let a potential ‘sad’ ending overshadow an incredible experience.

6. The Stoic

The ego doesn’t like being naked — emotionally. It equates transparency and vulnerability with weakness, so it puts up walls. But these walls truncate the full expression of your human self. Emotions are healthy, and should never be bottled up. It causes us to live less than who we truly are.

To let fear, ridicule, and judgment block your untethered emotions and beliefs is to hide behind the veil of ego.

7. Reacting Rather Than Responding 

The ego is like an electric fence protecting a false, elevated identity — ready to react at any minute. Every comment is an insult, and any advice is criticism. It’s not just wearing your heart on your sleeve, it’s wearing your self-worth on your sleeve, and then picking a fight.

The ego-free person is able to process before responding, to restrain the visceral and make room for the reasonable, to think before acting. Understand that personal attacks from other people reflects more of their character than yours; that will help your hyperactive-bodyguard ego to relax.

8. The Tyrant of Productivity

We’re workaholics because the ego measures our value by what we achieve and produce. Yet there is something profound in simply who we are as human beings. We’re surrounded with infinite galaxies, but we are a speck. However, we are a speck with the consciousness to somehow grasp the infinite. We are a nail that understands it is part of a mansion.

But the ego gets lost in productivity and forgets reflection, awe, and appreciation. To create is a amazing ability — but it’s a byproduct of our amazing being. From being comes creating, not the other way around.


“When Adam Draper does Crypto Standup, Singapore listens”



I live and work in Singapore and Santa Monica. Yes, I am blessed. However, my life has been by design, I think of what I want and so I make my life choices and make them happen in my life. Hence the bi-continent living and that comes with bi-continent and now global community living, being and ecosystems building. So I am now never surprised when one part of my world meets another.

I went to Wavemaker Partners venture capital event this evening, keen to meet Adam Draper, who is one of the many great presenters at Crypto Invest Summit, April 30- May 2 in Los Angeles.

Since I actively support leaders who are building scalable, sustainable businesses and movements for the betterment of many; of course I am learning about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. I had been keen to report on the Crypto Invest Summit as I would be back in May to LA for my PhD programme. I was in communications with the organizers. However, I am being awarded an award at the Women Economic Forum in Delhi that same week and could not be physically present.

Still I wanted to report on the event, somehow.

I wanted to listen to the speakers and support some of the speakers who are already friends and experts I rely on for greater insights on cryptocurrency. I like learning and sharing with the greater audience, I have in Asia what I am learning from the US and vice versa. So I feel I had my chance tonight to do a bit of that.

I could not help but smile as Adam Draper shed light into his world of investing in more than 85 crypto related products because he was such a breath of fresh air to the last few Blockchain and Financial conferences I have been reporting on; especially here in Asia.

He just says it like it is.

He kept stopping the audience when they said Blockchain and he said, “You know you really mean cryptocurrency.”  He hit the nail on the head because I have seen so clearly how this phrase had been said in Singapore time and again – “I am not into cryptocurrency but I believe in Blockchain.”

When he said how there was an incongruity as he sat across bankers who personally invested in cryptocurrency and when faced with an inbound of requests from their clients on the same investment; are tied by regulations and are unable to respond.

Here’s some of his best lines. If you don’t laugh or “ah-ha” the way I did, you probably just had to be there. The truth is funny because it calls out for something we all see but sometimes just do not want to admit.

There is a growing understanding of the underlying thematics that the cryptocurrency world has been experiencing as the interface between centralize; de-centralize and personal autonomy becomes more and more apparent and lines get drawn.

Adam Says:

1) The newest phenomenon is that some of the ICO founders are now just so rich from their ICOs that they really don’t need to work on the project they asked for money for.

2) For the crypto-world, money doesn’t matter anymore!
They need talent

It’s so founder friendly now.

3) What Bitcoin made us ask is “What is money?”

The next question is “What is government and governance?”

He highlighted if an entrepreneur is looking for a problem to solve., then the entrepreneur is always looking for horrible industries with poor services and high costs. So yes – Governments are those horrible industries and they need to be disrupted.

4)  Any company who comes to an investor and leads with how much ICO has raised; is a red flag. Leave immediately and go read a Harry Potter book instead.
If they are leading with value and not the problem they are solving. Beware. (read more here

5) If you are going to invest in where the brains are. It’s in crypto.

6) Philosophically, Coinbase is against ethos of what Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency movement is trying to do. However to do such a move from fiat to digital currency, there would need a way to do that. So Coinbase acts like a browser does for internet. One day there will be no need to cash in or out as everyone is already there on digital. Cryptocurrency is the exchange of value. His advice and we know his bias as he is invested in  Coinhako; is to hold onto an exchange for 3-5 years since onboarding of all users to the new digital currency will take some time.

Adam met with many banks and government bodies on his trip to Singapore – I hope they got his truths.

I ended the night by thanking Adam for making me laugh. He reminded me of how much I miss LA.

Want more of this?

If you are in LA on April 30 – May 2.



Continue Reading

Callum Connects

Adrian Reid, Founder of Enlightened Stock Trading



Adrian Reid escaped the rat race and became a knowledgeable trader. He now shares his trading knowledge and empowers others to take control of their stocks.

What’s your story?
After working 12-16 hour days in the corporate world for many years I had a moment of realisation on the 1 hour bus ride to work. It was here at this moment in time, I realised that I felt trapped, desperate and isolated. Trapped in a job I hated, and a life I had not designed. I had long been interested in investing, but I made the decision at that point to become the best trader I could possibly be and escape the rat race.
My dream was to be free; free of the 9 to 5, the commute, the stress and the exhaustion. I threw myself into my stock trading research and study and emerged 3 months later with the trading rules that would ultimately buy me my freedom. I am now retired from the corporate world, I trade full time and share my knowledge with other aspiring traders through my online education program which puts them in control and empowers them to take control and accountability for their trading results.

What excites you most about your industry?
So many people are trapped in jobs they don’t like or are feeling immense financial pressure in their life. Trading education is typically done extremely badly today because of the conflicts of interest in the industry. Fund managers want to hold onto your money forever; brokers want you to trade more frequently; forex brokers want you to use more leverage. Why? Because that is how they make their money.
By teaching traders how to develop and test their own stock trading systems I am able to empower them to find trading rules which fit their own personality, objectives and lifestyle. This is the only way for new traders to be successful. This process transforms people’s financial future, their relationship with money and wealth and gives them hope. I love that!

What’s your connection to Asia?
I recently spent 3 years living in Singapore which I absolutely loved. This put me in a good position to observe the other Asian markets. As a stock trader I am interested in many markets and economies around the world, however the Asian markets have some of the best potential for trading profits. I have traded stocks in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo and I have developed trading systems that work in many other Asian markets as well.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city is Singapore. After living in Singapore for 3 years my family fell in love with the city. Life is great in Singapore for the whole family and the pro-business and investing policies of the government make it a wonderful place to build your financial future as well.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
On a personal front: Find something you love, throw all your energy and passion into it.
On the wealth front: Spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Take control of your finances and always accept 100% responsibility for your investment decisions.

Who inspires you?
My wife Stephanie inspires me. Her commitment to everything she does, her compassion, her insights into people and her ability to uplift those around her, make me want to be a better person.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
No matter what we think we know, there will always be a different perspective that can change our opinion. In my own trading, I continually find that the truths I cling to are not absolute and they can be misleading if held onto dogmatically. Striking a balance between taking a stance and knowing when to change that stance based on new information is critical in all areas of life.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more action earlier on. My fear of mistakes (which still limits me on occasions, like most people) has always proven to be baseless. Playing small to avoid the embarrassment or pain of mistakes is very limiting and I would have taken more action earlier, if I had my time again.

How do you unwind?
To unwind I like to read, meditate, run and ride my mountain bike in the forest.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I just love the small island resort at Batu Batu. It is beautiful, isolated, quiet and surrounded by clean water, full of sealife. After a week at the resort I felt like a different person.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto. This book teaches the art of clear and structured communication. My time working as a business strategy consultant gave me a great appreciation for the importance of communication in business. Clear and effective communication can solve a myriad of challenges in your business and professional life, and as a strong communicator your employment prospects, business relationships, team performance and family life are all dramatically improved.

Shameless plug for your business:
Enlightened Stock Trading ( is the only stock market trading education business that empowers you, as an individual trader. It shows you how to design and test your own unique stock trading system that fits YOUR Personality, Objectives and Lifestyle. We have no conflicts of interest and we are focused on teaching you how to trade stocks profitably in a way that fits your life.
After working through the Enlightened Stock Trader Certification Program you will find yourself confident and empowered with your own battle tested trading system and trading plan to guide you through the markets.

How can people connect with you?
Email me directly at [email protected] or through my Facebook Page (

Twitter handle?

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
Download free copies of his books here:

Continue Reading