Milwaukee Buck’s star Giannis Antetokounmpo was asked about how he keeps his ego in check despite his many accomplishments at age 26.
Here’s an excerpt from his answer:
“When you focus on the past, that’s your ego: ‘I did this. We were able to beat this team 4-0. I did this in the past. I won that in the past.’
When I focus on the future, it’s my pride: ‘Yeah, next game, Game 5, I do this and this and this. I’m going to dominate.’ That’s your pride talking. It doesn’t happen. You’re right here.
I kind of try to focus on the moment, in the present. That’s humility. That’s being humble. That’s not setting no expectation. That’s going out there, enjoying the game, competing at a high level. I think I’ve had people throughout my life that helped me with that. But that is a skill that I’ve tried to, like, kind of — how do you say it, perfect it, master it. And it’s been working so far. So I’m not going to stop.”
A focus on the past is ego, a focus on the future is pride, and a focus on the present is humility.
Another person who does a brilliant job of explaining how to tame your ego is Ryan Holiday in his book: Ego is the Enemy.
Ryan has the following to say in the book:
“And that’s what is so insidious about talk. Anyone can talk about himself or herself. Even a child knows how to gossip and chatter. Most people are decent at hype and sales. So what is scarce and rare? Silence. The ability to deliberately keep yourself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong.”
Just keep quiet and work.