Last week my friend Coach Jennie posted on her Facebook page the question: ”If you had to articulate it, what would you say is your life purpose?” and I replied “Simply to motivate and inspire women to be less selfless and more selfish.” And I totally mean that.
What does that mean exactly?
First, let’s address the horrible reputation the word selfish has gotten. Dictionary.com defines selfish as “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”
I believe most people read that definition and think being selfish means you care only for yourself at all times at the expense of others. And that is not how I see being selfish at all. I read that definition as caring for yourself, and being concerned with your interests, benefits, welfare, regardless of what others think. What’s wrong with that?
Absolutely nothing in my book!
When you put yourself first you are better able to help others. When you’re selfish you pay attention to what is important to you, you take care of yourself better, you take exciting risks, you live and create a life that you’re excited about. It’s not about saying to heck with everyone and putting your needs first and intentionally hurting other people. There may be some decisions you make to protect yourself: mind, body and soul that others will not like and it may hurt their feelings but you can’t continue to live your life to please everyone else’s agenda.
When you are selfless, you are at the mercy of everyone and what they think of you. You will not make time for yourself, you will not get what’s important to you done, you will feel resentful and you won’t live a life you enjoy. Because, let’s be honest, when you are doing something you REALLY don’t want to do you are upset and resentful the entire time because you could be doing something else.
And I’m not trying to convince you to now stop helping out other people, I’m just letting you know there is no honor in being selfless if you don’t do it from your heart. So you can stop sacrificing your happiness, time and life doing things to prove you are a good person. Volunteering and giving we do because it makes us feel good to give back but when you do it and it makes you feel like crap, that’s a sign you need to be more selfish.
Your stellar assignment
I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this topic. When you hear or use the word selfish what comes to mind? How do you define it?