I just wrote this as part of a comment on someone else's thread, but to me, it bears repeating.
"There is nothing wrong with having a strong ego. The word ego has gotten a bad rap. It means knowing yourself. It means having a strong sense of identity."
I'm getting tired of the promulgation of this idea that we should not be self-centered or have big/strong egos. There is nothing wrong with being centered on yourself. If you take care of you first, then you will be free and able to help others (notice the second follows the first. I'm not saying we should only be centered on ourselves, but that we should make ourselves a or the priority). If you sacrifice yourself on the altar of helping everyone else, you will burn out. I know this from experience. It was a hard won lesson, and it is one I will never forget. My life is about service to others, but first I have to take care of myself. If I don't, I will eventually burn away.
And as for having a big or healthy ego, I believe that if we all had strong egos, if we all knew ourselves and more importantly accepted those selves (strong egos, strengths, frailties, passions, fears, flaws, and all), the world would be a far more healthy place.