It’s not about you. That’s what we always hear, right? It’s not about you. Honestly, it really isn’t. We live our lives for other people. We live our lives to love someone, help someone, take care of someone, etc. Rarely are we doing something only for ourselves. When you listen to star athletes, celebrities, and high-profile personalities during their interviews they always talk about how they do it for their family or they do it for the fans and so on. When do you hear any of them say that they did it for themselves? If you do hear it, know that it’s as rare as Big Foot being spotted. What all those people don’t say in their interviews is that to do it for everyone else, you must be selfish.
“Make yourself a priority once in awhile. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary” —Karen A. Baquiran
Why Be Selfish?
If you have ever taken a flight from one place to another then you’re probably familiar with the safety briefing that they give to passengers prior to take off. The flight attendants all stand at different sections of the plane, so that they are clearly visible to everyone. As one of them speaks through the intercom giving directions on how to buckle your seat-belt properly, the other flight attendants are demonstrating it. They also do this for the oxygen mask that drops down from the overhead compartment in the event of an emergency. What they tell everyone is that when these oxygen masks drop down, ensure that you properly place yours on first if you have someone like a child with you, then you can help them with theirs.
This may seem wrong because any parent’s instinct is to worry about their child and want to ensure that they are safe first. When you think about it though, securing your mask first is what must be done. You can no longer help the child if you put their mask on first and something happens to you because you failed to secure yours first. The reality is that you must get your mask on first so that you can help the child or anyone else that may need help.
It’s no different in everyday life. You must help yourself before you can help anyone else. You must do what is right for you before you can do what is right for someone else. How do you make someone happy when you are not happy? How do you love someone when you do not have love for yourself? How do you teach someone else when you have not learned anything? Therefore, you must be selfish. So that you can go on and teach, love, and make others happy.
Be Selfish for Others
Once you have been selfish for you, now you can be selfish for others. Be selfish in passing on what you were once selfish for. Teach others what you have learned. Love others the way that you love yourself. Brighten their day, every day, and make them happy. This life is meant to be shared. It is meant to have relationships. Deep and meaningful relationships. But you cannot have those meaningful relationships and will not share your life with another if you are not the person you need to be. So, I tell you to be selfish. Be selfish so that you are prepared to build strong, fulfilling relationships and can continue building for as long as possible. Be selfish in sharing your life with another. Be selfish in sharing with the world the right way.
What Does Being Selfish Look Like?
Being selfish for better comes in many forms. This can look like taking time away from friends and family to do something that is going to better your life which can impact your relationships in positive ways. College is a perfect example. Men and women leave home every year in pursuit of higher education to better their lives so that one day they can provide for those they love. It’s not only young men and women either. Older men and women that are married, have children of all ages are returning to school. They attend classes, stay up late working on papers, and spend hours on research for various projects. This is time that could be spent cooking dinner for the family, watching a movie with the kids, or taking their wife or husband out on a date.
Spending time at the gym is a form of being selfish. In my case, I am married, and we have four children, and I usually spend an hour a day at the gym or running. I take that one hour from my family to work on myself so that I can be as healthy as I possibly can. I do that because I want to live long enough to be there for my children well through their adult years. I want to see and play with my grandchildren.
If you are married, be selfish in your marriage. Many marriages fall apart because the usual way of thinking is that it’s all about the children and they come fist no matter what. When the children come first not matter what, that means that the spouses relationship is always second. It’s no longer the priority. Then we wonder why spouses grow apart, and marriages fail. Be selfish in your marriage. Your relationship with your spouse should come first. The kids are a result of your relationship, not the other way around. Remember, put your oxygen mask on before the child’s. Having a strong marriage will only make you a better parent.
Be selfish so that you can be better for others. If you want to make others happy, make yourself happy first. Love yourself first so that you can love others. Help yourself first so that you can help others.