Jane Fonda (Left) and Jennifer Lopez (Right) in the Movie
Ego - The cause of a person's down fall. One of the five vices.
Stories From the East
In India, there was an incident where two ladies in the house were arguing and quarrelling. One of them was the mother-in-law and the other was the daughter-in-law. The argument was getting worse and worse to the point that there was shouting and screaming, except for the throwing of pots and pans.
Suddenly, to save the situation, fortunately, a beggar was standing outside the door asking for alms. At first, he did not see anyone coming. When the daughter-in-law heard the beggar, she immediately attended to this by going to the front door and opened the door promptly. Seeing this, The mother-in-law also made her move towards the door. Before, the mother-in-law could attend to the beggar, the daughter-in-law started asking the person what he exactly wants.
The beggar was very happy to hear this and told the daughter-in-law that he wants some rice. The daughter-in-law told the beggar that she does not have any rice in a stern and firm manner. Hearing this, the beggar started to leave the place at once with disappointment. He was walking swiftly for some 50metres from the house and then all of a sudden someone else called him back to the house again. It was the mother-in-law. The beggar saw hope and he was smiling. He thought that the mother-in-law was kind enough to not turn him away. Seeing this, the mother-in-law spoke kindly and told the beggar to wait while she had to go inside. After a period of 5mins, the beggar lost all patience and started calling out loud to the mother-in-law to come and attend to him. Finally, the mother-in-law came out of the house empty handed.
When she saw the beggar, she told him to go. The beggar got mad at this. He asked the mother-in-law the intention of stopping him from going to other place for food. To this, the mother-in-law told that she is the real decision maker of the house and not the daughter-in-law. She told, " Who is she to make a decision?" Then, the beggar realised that actually he only wasted his time by coming back to the house. He left the place finally with a bigger disappointment.
Ego - An Analysis
When the daughter-in-law had told him a no to the beggar for food, the mother-in-law should have just not bothered to call the poor beggar back. The poor beggar had actually wasted his time for other person's whim. I find that the ego of the mother-in-law is unnecessary as the answer was already given by the daughter-in-law. It only wasted the beggar's time, that's all. The result was the same - no food. This is ego. A fall in a man comes when ego and pride appears first. Ego appears before a man's fall. Ego is being not natural and egolessness is our natural self. Egolessness leads to fearlessness and there will be no nervousness in a person.
Applicable to Running
If you take your time as the opponent, there is no ego. You are in fact challenging against your own self. Hence, since it is your own self, one will not feel stressed to perform. When you know that the enemy or opponent is you yourself, we tend to go for goals that we can achieve easily. You are not afraid of your own self.
If you take your opponent as your target, you may not have a peaceful sleep the night before. The target may not be gradual, systematic and progressive. It could be something that cannot be achieved. Furthermore, when one loses, the ego is affected and depression may set in. In the case of losing to your own timing, one will strive to achieve the time one has done or a little bit better. This will give one less stress. The only person you are going to lose is oneself. Our great runner from Malaysian, M. Ramachandran has done this and had achieved success most of the time, if not everytime. Also, I had this form of experience of doing well during race by concentrating in improving my own time rather than concentrating on winning. Winning will take place by itself automatically. Hence, no nervousness and only fearlessness will set in. The muscles will be relaxed.
It is good to note that ego is not one's self.