One of the best ways to face this problem of self-centeredness is to discover some cause and some purpose,

some loyalty outside of yourself and give yourself to that something. The best way to handle it is not to suppress the ego
but to extend the ego into objectively meaningful channels.” And so many people are unhappy because they aren’t doing anything. They’re self-centered because they aren’t doing anything. They haven’t given themselves to anything and they just move around in their little circles. One of the ways to rise above this self-centeredness is to move away from self and objectify yourself in something outside of yourself. Find some great cause and some great purpose, some loyalty to which you can give yourself and become so absorbed in that something that you give your life to it. Men and women have done this throughout all of the generations. And they have found that necessary ego satisfaction that life presents and that one desires through projecting self in something outside of self. As I said, you don’t solve the problem by trying to trample over the ego altogether. That doesn’t solve the problem. For you will always have the ego and the ego has certain desires, certain desires for significance. The three great psychoanalysts of this age, of this century, pointed out that there are certain basic desires that human beings have and that they long for and that they seek at any cost. And so for Freud the basic desire was to be loved. Jung would say that the basic desire is to be secure. But then Adler comes along and says the basic desire of human nature is to feel important and a sense of significance. And I think of all of those, probably-certainly all are significant but the one that Adler mentions is probably even more significant than any: that all human beings have a desire to belong and to feel significant and important. –Conquering Self-centeredness, MLK


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