James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.


Your ego is blocking your development


My friend beating cancer made me rethink everything.

I have a good friend named Brian. He’s generally a glass half full kind of guy, always finding the beauty in life’s ugly situations. If he were to get a flat tire in the middle of a desert, he would be one to comment on the great weather. That’s why it was a big surprise to find out he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December of 2012.

I’ve known a few people with cancer, and they were generally miserable. Who can blame them, it’s a difficult time with mortality staring you in the face. Brian was different, a strong will too. Through this time he kept positive, finding enlightenment in between the lines of a tough struggle. From afar I was envious, wondering how I can live a life so positive that I can learn from life’s road blocks. I was sure my cynical nature was holding back my own development. That’s why when I was recommended a book by Brian, The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, I was sure to download it immediately.

The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer discusses how intention rules the plans in your life and how to tap into it. It was no surprise to find out the biggest deterrent is the ego. Ego comes in many forms: believing money, possessions, achievements, body and reputation truly defining oneself are a few examples. Shedding that notion trims much of the problems in life, emotionally tapping into your realization of self, minus the self-defeating attitude. Another book I read, Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, piggy backed a lot that was mentioned in Dyer’s book. Duhigg’s book took the route of showing what habit forming does for the mind and personal development. The common theme between the two books was the power of empowered and positive thinking, then taking it a step further by acting on those thoughts.

Once realizing that the ego is in the way of many problems, finding true self is one difficult journey to go about. As Brian went about and beat cancer, it was apparent that his ego took a backseat during much of the recovery period. Seeing a guy so close to me grab onto a mountain positive thinking inspired me to look on the brighter side of situations. I quickly realized that cynicism is not only an easy defense mechanism, but a flippant response to life’s issues. Years ago when I used to silently mock those who had a positive outlook, I was the one who was truly miserable.

That photo at the top of this post, that is Brian at his cancer benefit on June 8th of 2013 right after he gave a speech on how positive thinking and the love of his friends and family got him through cancer. I snapped the photo as he was hugging his cousin, Lisa, who organized the entire event. After witnessing what positive thinking brought to Brian, you better believe the glass on my desk is half full.


James T. Green