When a parent trying to please a child, finds a way to work extra hours even if at the cost to one's own health, finally purchases the toy the child wanted - could such an act be considered selfish? Why not? The parent made a great effort in the hope of receiving recognition, irrelevant of what sort of recognition it is, isn't such an act in its pureness, actually based on a very selfish motive?
If a child, upon receiving the very toy complains that it is no longer the toy he or she wants, and a child (a little spoilt brat) who simply didn't yet develop a capacity to perceive the amount of effort her parent put into obtaining it - could that child be called selfish?
When it comes to 'selfish' only the negative meaning that we learn during our childhood springs to mind.
Yet there is another meaning to such a menacing adjective: it is to care for one's own interests.
In a time when so much is expected of us to fit into and to be accepted into a society we are willingly or unwillingly are a part of, many of us forget that it's not always about others. We forget there is our own inner identity we want to protect and evolve. And in that sense 'selfish' is the only word that delivers the statement, albeit uncomfortably, to the point.
And what would be the steps of 'How to be Selfish'?
- Know Your Goals, Your Inner Key Goals. Be that to progress in your career, to be able to win a marathon, be that to have at least one holiday a year. Whatever it may be.
There is one catch: your key goals cannot be directed at pleasing others. Why? Because if you sacrifice a goal that is deeply important to you, you'll build a resentment (though usually unknowingly and subconsciously) towards the person or job or else - that caused you the 'loss'.
- Learn How to be Selfish with Your Time. That doesn't just relate to shortening the time you spend with people that are not genuinely interested in your life, progress, or what it is you have to offer. It also refers to your time wasting opportunities. Rest is, of course, fine. Yet spending hours watching the news as a way of avoiding your study or training - is you being unselfish with your time and to put it plainly, wasting it.
- Learn How to be Selfish with Your Body. You only have one body. And as any members of your family, your body needs it's 'me' time. Negotiate your way around or find likeminded friends and family members to help you to be selfish with your body... while they are selfish with theirs.
- Learn How to be Selfish with Your Mind. What's going on in your mind, is or at least meant to be yours and your business only. Someone once said; "I don't allow anyone to live rent free in my mind!" Be selfish and learn to control and/or direct your thought patterns in a way that it is beneficial to your goals and your physical and mental health.
Why? Because if you learn how to be selfish, you are going to attract likeminded people to your strong inner 'I'. And as a result of such core transformation, no person will ever dare to call you selfish. They will now call you happy, charismatic and a 'good to be around' person.
What about the parent and the child story that was mentioned in the beginning? It is a tough task to help a child grow into a great individual without sacrificing your life. Yet like everything in life, examples work best. If you demonstrate to your child that your health is detrimental to the successful existence of the household, eventually your child will learn and will follow your example... And your child will not become a little doormat trying to please others without considering her own inner key goals.
It's time we learn How To Be Selfish.