Ego: Our sense of self that helps us to organize our thoughts and make sense of them and the world around us. Our ego seeks to please our drive in realistic ways that ultimately bring benefit rather than grief.

How does ego relate to workplace safety and wellness? Your ego can discriminate from bad, but if left unchecked…can also lead us in a direction of immediate gratification and selfishness.

Take this series of questions:

  • Should I take time to warm up?
  • Should I check to make sure my tools aren’t broken?
  • Should I skip that delicious looking glazed donut and pick up the banana right next to it?
  • Should I refrain from my 4th cup of coffee and start drinking water?

We know the answers to these, right? But if ego gets in our way, we may take the immediate gratification route. We may pick the easier, more gratifying option over the one that is more challenging, but more beneficial. You are in control of everything that YOU do. Your thoughts, your actions, your emotions are all under your control. The tough part? Controlling them. 

Should you warm up? Absolutely! But it’s certainly easier not to. If we can remind ourselves of the benefits and long term gains in workplace performance, this becomes an easy decision.

Start with reasoning with your ego. When you are making an angel/devil decision, ask yourself, is this for immediate gratification to feed pleasure? Or is this a decision that eliminates challenge or difficulty? If so, it might be time to re-think.