On ego: The sea and the jacuzzi

I’ve been thinking a lot about creatives, how much confidence and self-belief it takes to be one. Where do we draw the line with that, if at all? When does confidence tipple over into arrogance?

How does creativity suffer in the hands of those with an inflated sense of self?

Whilst exploring these ideas in my head, I thought of an analogy that has been useful to me:

The difference between confidence and arrogance is like the difference between the sea and a jacuzzi. One’s waves are naturally occurring, the others’ are simulated for purpose.

With all of its vastness and power, the waters of the sea never “have” to be anything. They just are. One day this might be calm and level, on another day they may be ferocious. The sea has nothing to prove, and when you choose to go towards it, you accept it for whatever it is on that day.

With all of its might, the waters of the sea allow themselves to be moved by the wind. The waters live in harmony with the life that inhabits them, and alongside the land. The sea is conscious of the world beyond itself.

The sea is nature’s representation of integrity.

Put simply, the jacuzzi is everything that the sea isn’t.

The jacuzzi’s character is manufactured, its life span is limited and it leaves no legacy. It will be whatever the person/s who purchase it decide for it to be. The jacuzzi has an inflated consciousness, meaning it is aware of only itself and the waves it has the minute power to control.

As a creative of any practice, do you wish to be the sea or the jacuzzi?




  • a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
  • the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.


  • the use of imagination or original ideas to create something.


Further Reading on Ego & Creativity:

Douglas Eby – http://talentdevelop.com/articles/Page132.html

Aaron Howes – https://medium.com/@aaronhowes/artists-must-be-egotists-3b0d5ecb68f0