The ego longs for the approval of others, the accumulation of stuff and to measure ourselves by achievements. These three A’s can wreak havoc on the heart. Let me expand on these ideas below:
The need for the approval of others is a trap that can completely derail your course. It is like a drug, once you get the approval of a person you can be tempted to make it your cause. It is also incredibly selfish. A life is lived ultimately for the service of others. If approval is your motive, then ultimately you are serving yourself.
The accumulation effect creates the facade that we are what we own vs. we are because we are. In essence the profundity of this ego foci is that security and transcendence comes through the gathering of things, which ultimately only temporarily provide us what we need or want.
The achievement trap really creates an inaccurate measure or method to use to compare my achievements to yours. If I have achieved more or mine created a bigger impact than my worth must then again be greater than yours. The absurdity here is that all of our collective achievements either for good or evil count and enhance lives. Instead think of your life as energy being expended for the good of others.
This test will test my mettle to make sure this is about service vs. ego building. I encourage you to recognize the Three Deadly As in your life and find ways to connect to service and others.