A man asked Gautama Buddha, “I want happiness.” Buddha said, “First remove “I,” that’s Ego, then remove “want,” that’s Desire. See now you are left with only “Happiness.”
Desire is very common to all. Some desires are quite healthy, useful, and appropriate; some are not. One function of meditation practice is to help us distinguish between these. And differentiating helps support the beautiful aspiration for liberation and compassion.
Your ego is your conscious mind, the part of your identity that you consider your “self.” When we engage in ego-driven activity, we’re trying to reinforce this sense of self. The sense-of-self is not a thing, instead it is a process. Enlightenment occurs when the usually automatized reflexivity of consciousness ceases, which is experienced as a letting-go and falling into the emptiness and being wiped out of existence. Stop trying to grab onto anything and the enlightenment will occur.