Don't Fool Yourself
By Amy Willis
Do you think too much of yourself, or perhaps not enough? When does productive self-esteem become egotistical? How has the presence or absence of ego influenced world history? These were just some of the questions explored in this week’s EconTalk episode as host Russ Roberts welcomed Ryan Holiday to talk about his new book, Ego is the Enemy.
1. Holiday cautions people to beware the “narrative fallacy.” What does this mean? What are some examples from your own life in which you’ve fallen prey to this fallacy?2. Marcus Aurelius is mentioned several times throughout this week’s episode. Specifically, Aurelius’s advice to “Accept it without arrogance; let it go with indifference,” is admired by both Roberts and Holiday. What strategies do they suggest for accomplishing this maxim, which they both admit is difficult. What would you suggest? Is this always good advice? Can you provide a counterexample?
3. What does Holiday mean when he says that power does more than just corrupt, it also reveals? Can you offer some other examples that illustrate this? Check out this 2006 EconTalk interview with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita for his take on this question.
4. What ‘s the best “self-help” book you’ve ever read, and why?