You uncover the pay off by contemplation. It is a matter of getting in the habit of going about your normal day and taking a step back as you go and observing what the mind is thinking about. It will constantly try to lure you into these stories that are like a hypnosis. The stories usually have a theme that induce some negative feeling (which you're juicing for the energy). The ego has one mission "to get", it gets energy from the environment, from other people, from past experiences (why some people get preoccupied about past sexual experiences, etc..) It is getting energy from the environment. When you see that is what the ego is doing you can begin to withdraw interest in its stories. To make the transition from deriving energy from the environment to being a source of energy instead, to tap a great inner resource is difficult and ultimately a life long process. Go bankrupt, that's one of the pathways to God. Get into a drug addiction and hit rock bottom, that's another way. Many people are not convinced that the ego is just trying to get energy until they've lived out all their fantasies to the fullest and are still dissatisfied, the ego is insatiable! Its very nature is dissatisfaction, so said the buddha the first noble truth is that life is dukkah! (dissatisfaction). So lose interest in its games and become willing to surrender every moment to God as it arises... and good luck because without a guide in your life that you meet with regularly to be in their energy field it is very difficult indeed.