I don't understand why a majority of people avoid having an ego because they don't want to appear cocky. If you wish to be the best you first have to believe you are the best.
Be Better than the Best
My goals are to be better than the best and yours should be too. Why settle for second or just as good when you could be the best.
It's funny how it works that when I believe I am the best I perform better.
I have been know to be overly competitive little things that don't matter. It's that drive that has made me a better business person, developer, and overall person. I'm constantly comparing myself to others that I view as better than myself. In business, I quietly competed with friends, family, and acquaintances that were either making more money than I have or have achieved goals that I wanted to reach. As a developer, I like to pick a developer I know that has mastered a skill that I am a novice at in comparison. Some of these people have remained better than me over the years and others I am confidently better than in those skills. The reality is that these comparisons are not what's important, it is only an imaginary milestone to help me visualize myself growing as a person. While I use my competitive nature to make myself better, I make sure not to use it to put others down. Although I am competing it is not a goal to destroy, that would be called jealousy and it's a great way to burn bridges.
Making a Weakness into a Strength
For years, almost every day, I have looked at myself in the mirror and I criticize everything that I need to improve about myself. Some things I have been able to significantly improve are my ability to pay attention for long periods of time, my physical strength, my body fat percentage, my daily diet, stress levels, happiness, personal and business relationships, and many others. Some of my goals are vague like "I need to be smarter" and others are very specific like "I want a six pack." No matter what the goals are the important thing is that I am constantly improving myself.