DEV Community

Cover image for Do The Thing — Confront Ego and Make Something

Do The Thing — Confront Ego and Make Something

chantastic profile image Michael Chan ・1 min read

This is my modus operandi:

  • Have an idea
  • Sit down to work
  • Work on something different
  • Let the idea die

When I decided to make developer training videos,
I sat down and built a multi-tenant app for selling video subscriptions in a hawt-shit web framework I didn't know.

I didn't make a video.

I've missed out on a lot of opportunities because of that.
But I learned something invaluable about work.

Creation is a battle with ego.
Ego hates the indignity of work.
It hates simple things.
And when forced to work, ego redirects effort toward bigger, brighter, bolder goals.

This is why your blog looks like a dream but has no posts.
It's why your manager adds "just one more thing" before presenting your work to the executive team.
And it's why you won't contribute a dime to your 401k before identifying the perfect funds.

Ego refuses to look foolish.
So it counters your little idea with a noble obstacle.

Keep your head down.
Do the thing.
Feel the shame of it.
Embrace the smallness.
Don't let ego derail you.


Originally posted to my newsletter

Discussion (10)

Editor guide
kp profile image

Wow, that was deep, and pretty much summed up my reality right now.

chantastic profile image
Michael Chan Author

thanks for reading! you're in good company. everyone i know, no matter how productive, fights this.

i took a trip recently and made these amazingly lists of things i was going to accomplish when i got home. i've done almost none of them. i've started 100 times but the work is always long and humiliating.

kp profile image

thanks for sharing that and being vulnerable, it helps me in my journey.

efleurine profile image

You talk straight to my ego

cheston profile image

This gave me some 'The War of Art' vibes, I like it!


chantastic profile image
Michael Chan Author

Thank you!

LOVE The War of Art. Pretty much everything I write is just an attempting at personalizing the timeless wisdom of that book 😂

Have you read Ryan Holiday's Ego is the Enemy?
Not as relentlessly impacting as The War of Art but several chapters impacted me profoundly.

graciano profile image
graciano codes

Thank you for this!!!

chantastic profile image
Michael Chan Author

my pleasure. i hope that it proves helpful the next time you start making something 😅

viralharia profile image

Wow. Goes to my list of quotes/stmnts to refer again list. Thanks Michael 🙂

chantastic profile image
Michael Chan Author

🥰 i'm glad it was meaningful. thanks for the encouragement!