My theory is that Selfishness has been given a Bad Rap by society.
And yes, it is Bad Rap, not Bad Wrap. I just found that out here as I was wondering which version of the word it was :) I posted the link here because it looks like these folks are doing some smart stuff on their site. You may want to check it out. I'll be going back there for sure.
We heard it all the time from our parents, teachers, and the influencers in our lives as we were growing up, "You're being selfish. Stop it!". Many of us took on the belief that Selfish = Bad/Wrong. But is that really the truth or just interpretation?
Look, there are many times selfishness may not serve us. For instance, in sales, as friends, as lovers. With that being said, there are many more times when putting ourselves first just makes sense. The key is being self-aware and honest about what actually serves the greater good. I thought I'd share 3 examples from my perspective.
3 Examples of how Selfishness Serves the Greater Good
1. Donating Money to Charity:
Think about it. How can we donate to our favorite charitable cause if we don't have enough for ourselves and our families? Many people say they want to give back and make a difference. A lot of the people who say so actually do so. In conversation with people I've found that many people do so to their own detriment just to be seen as a good-hearted person.
While it's great to have a big, giving heart, sometimes it just doesn't make sense. I want to encourage people to put themselves first in this area. Consider how much more you could give once your own finances are handled. What a gift it is to give to yourself first so as to have more to give to others afterwards. Fill your cup so it's overflowing and allow the abundance to be your gift to the world.
2. Spending More Time with Family, Friends and On Your Business
Every day we're being pulled in many directions by other people and our own ideas for our attention and focus. A lot of the time we may relate to ourselves as bad or wrong for not paying enough attention to those people and our own thoughts and ideas. We then figure we better go the "extra mile" and push through feeling tired and/or sick to give a little more of ourselves.
What if we chose to put ourselves first? What if we flipped the script and committed to take care of our physical well-being first and foremost? What if this were the healthy priority?
Imagine 90% of your days were filled with energy and stamina. It could be as simple as committing to enough sleep....whatever that means for you and your body. Then perhaps if you added on a little exercise every day and focused on a healthier diet you'd have the trifecta.
You may be thinking, "I already don't have time to play ball with my kid, how am I going to add more stuff to do and think about? How does that help me have time for my kid?" I assert you'd have more energy and stamina if you chose to make your physical well-being a priority. Again, your cup would be full. Full of energy and enthusiasm. You may find you can do more and for longer periods of time.
3. Loving the People in Your Life
You may have noticed there's a common theme here. Making sure we have enough has us able to give more to others. When we have money, we can give more away and not be victimized by it. When we have energy, we can give more away and love doing it.
It's the same with love, the most powerful and meaningful gift of all. Have you ever noticed when you feel down on yourself for whatever reason that it's more difficult to love the people most important to you? For this reason we must focus on being in love with ourselves in order to give our love away to others.
This comes naturally to some, but not all. Some of us need to practice loving ourselves. This practice can have many forms. One simple way is to say, "I love myself" 10 times a day. Preferably while looking at yourself in the mirror. I know it may sound weird, but it really works. It may be super uncomfortable at first, but that's where real magic happens....when we do the uncomfortable things. When we're scared, and choose to do it anyway.
I've included a video below that reiterates all of these points if you care to watch. The bottom line is, if we don't have, we can't give without feeling victimized. And when we feel victimized, we avoid. And when we avoid, things tend to not work out.