Could it be that being selfish is actually a good thing if you know how to use it for good? Since I’m the most important for me, I live a happier and more fulfilling life, but so the others around me. They say I inspire them and I’m their example to follow. So am I selfish now or altruist?
For a long time, I have known the difference between internal and external motivation. One of them comes from the heart and healthier long-term. It also fuels you for a life. I decided to be more selfish for myself and I would spend more quality time with me. Also, I would prioritize my needs more and I would pay more attention to living by my values. I had no idea this would make me a good example to follow and I would inspire thousands of people.
In my particular case, it was easy to become more selfish because I just had it with putting others first and always being left on the bottom. It was enough. So I spent all my savings on travels, food, experiences, and fun that later turned into passion, career, friends and a home. But I just loved doing naughty things that people disapproved of. So I put my life on the line as well, because why not. I had nothing to show for. No boyfriend, no passion, no career, no plan, no home. I wanted to feel alive, so I did the scariest things people told me could cost my life. They made me feel alive.
Selfish from selfish
I spend time with myself because only I can make me happy and only I know what life I want to live. And since I’m living this life, I got a tremendous amount of positive feedback. It turns out I helped others around me without even knowing. Conclusion? The need to become more selfish was not only for me. Now it doesn’t seem so unjustifiable, and negative. Of course, this is always situation dependent, but here it turned out fine.
I have the balls to tell anyone off before 10 am to leave their negativity elsewhere, the mornings are the most important part of my day. It is when I prepare myself for the day and fill myself with positive vibes. If this gets interrupted I bite without shame. I dare to say no to people who ask me a favor and I have no desire to help them out or it would take me too long. I value my time and just because we are friends, I don’t do any time-consuming free work.
I have the guts to go back on my decision. I dare to potentially hurt someone a little bit if it gets me out of a lot of trouble. I have the balls to leave a boring date early, to leave a friend who is going through too much negativity, or someone who is bored and tries to spend my time on my expense. Of course, there is always an exception to these, but I find it easier to choose myself over others now.
They used to be small sources of stress that I got rid of. I hated doing something that I promised, but the activity turned out to be painful. So I started quitting before I destroyed myself. And you know what? People lived. No one got damaged. Things went back to normal.
Life goes on
Sometimes it’s really hard to choose myself knowing that I will hurt the other person a bit. So I have a sequence of priority I assigned to people who surround me. Strangers are at the bottom of the food chain. But I’m my own representative who supposes to look out for me. And unfortunately, occasionally the time comes when I need to make a tough decision and choose myself at someone else’s expense. It hardly ever happens when I choose the stranger over me at my own expense.
The higher you are on the ladder at work, the more responsibilities you have. Managers fire people, tell people why they were not chosen for promotion and sometimes have to take the fall for the entire department. Nothing is easy once you grow and climb the food chain, but we need strong examples.
Someone needs to put the boxing glows on, and if I get a bit more selfish but inspire others, then to me it is worth the other side of the coin and I will swallow the fact that I need to hurt people’s feelings occasionally.
When someone asks me to drive her to the airport early morning, but she is aware of how full my schedule is, I say she is more selfish than me when I say no, by asking me to wake up super early and spend hours on driving. So just out of sheer kindness I won’t waste 3 hours of my busy day and be sleep deprived just to save her 10 dollars and make her a bit more comfortable.
Before anyone brings an extreme example into this argument I just want to say that exceptions don’t make the rule. I do break my own rules all the time, but in about 80% of the cases, I can follow them. Sometimes I must break them to minimize the damage. But this 20% helps me to ask difficult questions, self-reflect and leave room for improvement. This 20% keeps me grounded when I fly too high.
I love to be a good example because I believe this is the only and most effective way to see a change in the world I would love to see. This way no one is forced to change, everybody can decide for themselves to which degree do they let my influence effect them and what do they want to utilize from what I talk about. But I owe it to everyone to open doors to new opportunities, to help them ask hard questions, find answers, reflect and understand cause and effect. By not sharing my learnings, I would be more selfish.
I consider myself an altruist selfish person. This is why I believe that we use the word ’selfish’ many time wrong. We apologize for it. But I’m proud of it. We all need someone to represent us and no one is better for the job than us. This way we don’t depend on anyone, the trust will never be broken, we will never be let down. We owe it to ourselves to look after us first and foremost even if it means hurting others a little bit.