How can you be who you really are in a corporate, government, or nonprofit workplace when you are around giant egos that challenge you and seek to control you and get the better of you day in and day out?

An interesting article was sent to me recently entitled "A bigger ego is the only way to truly create ‘A New Earth.'" The author of the article applauds Eckhart Tolle for his impact on the world, then goes on to claim that the real problem in our world isn't that we have an ego, but that our egos aren't large enough.

Says the writer, "It's obvious that most people have a lack of understanding regarding one of the key concepts regarding the human ego."

The article points out that the word ego is a Latin term and simply means "I." In other words, it's the identity we've created for ourselves. Says the author of this article, if we realize this, there's absolutely no way we can be egoless. Even to have an image of ourselves as egoless is ego, he says.

He's right, of course, that the word ego is Latin for "I." What he hasn't apparently realized is that, like so many words over the centuries, this Latin term has evolved a different meaning today.

Ego no longer means who we really are. It means, just as this author says, the identity we create for ourselves.

What Eckhart Tolle brings out is that who we really are and the identity we create for ourselves aren't the same thing, whereas this author seems to imagine they are.

I am not my ego, and you are not your ego. Two-thousand years ago, when ego had a quite different meaning, people were their ego, and the identity they created for themselves wasn't their ego. In other words, the meaning of ego has completely flipped over.

Today, ego means our false self. Long ago, it meant our true self.

To get a handle on this, you might enjoy a book I read years ago by Jacob Needleman, who lectured in philosophy in San Francisco and wrote the book The Heart of Philosophy as a result of his experience of teaching students.

Needleman writes, "It was a bright October afternoon and I was walking home from school. I remember the trees and the colored leaves underfoot. My thoughts were wandering when suddenly my name, ‘Jerry,' said itself in my mind. I stopped in my tracks. I whispered to myself: ‘I am.' It was astonishing. ‘I exist.' I began to walk again, but very slowly. And my existence was walking with me, inside me. I am fourteen years old, and I am."

Needleman recalls that not once in anything he read or anything he heard in all his years in school did anyone mention such an experience. "How could that be?" he asks. "What is culture, what is education, if it makes no place for that?"

The simple fact is, most of Earth's people have no knowledge of who they really are. The identity we hold for ourselves isn't who we are at all, it's just an imagined false self that attempts to cover up the fact we don't know our real self.

Needleman describes this awakening as recognizing "that everything I have understood to be myself has not been myself." In other words, what we call our ego may be the identity we've created for ourselves in the world, but it isn't who we really are. It isn't the "I" that the Latin term once pointed to.

Who are we? Needleman got it right when he said that who we really are is astonishing. Or as Goethe once quipped, "Know thyself? If I knew myself, I'd run away."

To know oneself is to peer much deeper into oneself than what we mean by our identity, the ego.

Thoreau said, "It is as hard to see one's self as it is to look backwards without turning around."

The trick to being ourselves in corporate, government, or nonprofit circles peopled by powerful egos is to stop trying to see ourselves, imagine ourselves, picture ourselves at all. Then we take our ego out of the picture—and there is nothing for al those giant egos to fight.

When we in any way imagine ourselves, we are in ego. For ego is an image of ourselves—what we call our self-image. It isn't who we really are, it's an identity we've manufactured beginning in our earliest days.

Our true self consists simply in being, not in picturing or imaging ourselves. There is no identity to create because we are the greatest identity there is, each of us aspects of the ultimate "I am" of being.

The truth is that developing a bigger ego is far from being who we are. When we are simply being, we don't think of ourselves or picture ourselves at all. There is no concept of ourselves. We are so immersed in life, we are in the zone of flow in which there is no room for an awareness of ourselves in any kind of pictured or imaged sense.

For many years, I tried to improve and bolster my self-image. I had no idea that my "inner, noumenal being is breathtaking," as Jacob Needleman says of Kant's view of humanity in his Critique of Pure Reason.

It was a shock to learn, as Needleman goes on to say, that "this inner will [which Kant describes], which is or can be my real self, is utterly unrelated to the self that I ordinarily take myself to be, and that others take myself to be."

Ponder that statement for a few moments. Let it sink in.

Go into the high-powered sections of the corporate, government, or nonprofit world as an ego, and life becomes difficult.

Go into it simply being, in each moment, completely flowing in the zone, and in each given moment you will handle yourself beautifully—for the greatest power in the universe, far bigger than any ego, will spontaneously express itself as you.

In other words, to "be" is to approach every situation free of a concept of how things should be. It's to be "empty" of concepts of what should happen.

When you are being, you don't have to think of how you are being, picture how you are coming across, or try to be anything. In fact, all awareness of yourself in the scene disappears in a consciousness that simply flows.

Author's Bio: 

David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart.

If you enjoyed this author, you can read more of his work on

His book Your Forgotten Self is a Soul Essential sleeper hit. What are sleeper hits? Well, sleeper hits are the talents that haven’t yet been discovered. They may not be big names you’ve heard or read, the teachers everyone flocks to see. But, these sleeper hits will share with you insight few know yet about -- cutting edge teaching that’s totally life-changing.