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Why you should be selfish

serving yourself to better serve others

By Noah DouglasPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Why you should be selfish
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

I think we're conditioned to believe that being selfish is the polar opposite of being selfless.

I’m increasingly starting to believe that ‘the notion that to do things for yourself’ can be serving others well.

You know yourself best, better than anyone else; and it is through this knowledge of yourself that you can serve the world.

I think more often than not we like big group dynamics wherein people put this agenda on to you, telling you how you can best play a role in the world. It can be dangerous.

Don't get me wrong. I believe we should all play a role in service and caring for others and loving each other.

Yet if this is not in alignment with how as an individual we best work and function in the world, we've got something wrong there.

Ultimately, we need to be leaning into where our strengths lie- it is in these areas where we can be efficiently working and serving others in ways other people can’t imagine.

We've all got gifts and something unique that we can offer and this doesn’t need to be under the title ‘selfless’.

For me, I've been reflecting upon this recently. Just kind of stepping back a little bit and recognising that you know what I kind of need a bit of time for myself. Putting my head down and doing the things I know will make a difference for not only me but for others too.

I know how I function, what introduces stress and burnout and how hard I can go- this sometimes isn’t as well suited in bigger ‘selfless’ dynamics.

There's this author named Ryan Holiday and he puts it quite well;

“Sometimes you have to disconnect in order to better connect with yourself and with the people you serve”.

I think this is really interesting in regards to it's the nail on the head, I think through being able to step back and truly understand where you reside in life is essential. You can then almost understand your plan of attack. You know, “Okay, I want to help in the world here. I want to work in the world here”. And you can go about it in the best way.

The flip side is, somebody gives you this thing for you to do, and you just plainly accept it. It's not going to be done in the best capacity because it’s through the narrative of someone else’s story.

Obviously, you can try your best with it, but ultimately, it's not something you can function best in.

Yet, there is a need for these instances- team dynamics, other people’s opinions, not taking charge.

But for this dynamically to work there has to be collaboration and communication over where strengths lie, be selfish in where you want to work, how the team dynamics should function, and where you can best serve.

That is where actions are actualised. People work harder seeing opportunities where they personally feel called to make a change. That is only in spaces congruent to personal skills, talents, and individual inclinations.

Orient yourself, your team, and your life this way. It removes much of the inevitable resistance to hard tasks. Be selfish.

Ultimately I am cheating a bit with this title because I do personally believe within us all the desire to be selfless remains- yet the difference is doing it on your terms vs another.

I personally believe the key is being transfixed on ‘doing something well’ as this enables all people to be served best.

I have a few areas in life that I know a little more than the average joe about, so I’m going to be quite stubborn about how I should function in being led through those situations. But it is through areas I know less about (and even the ones that I do know lots about) I often get surprised by how people do offer better ways.

I have to be humble and open to that.

Doing something to the best capacity is what matters at the end of the day- whether on my terms or not.

So I think the challenge is, how can we go into our ways, being so selfish in our time, and leaning in and using that well.

Using the selfish time idea as a tool to serve instead of an ‘I don’t give a F*CK’ about others mentality.

For me, I'm trying to disconnect from other people and lean into what I want to do. But by doing so, I'm going to make a big difference for not only me but for the people I love and for the world at hand.

Doing so enables you to crack the code, get the blueprint, and get on with your plan of attack, and hopefully, it comes to fruition in a bigger way than something that somebody else has told you- detached from where your skills and talents reside.

Be open to refinement, redirection, and pointers once in a while. This then focuses your selfish individual time. Don’t muddle the two up as you’ll get nowhere. Once you have your destination in mind be a slave to the habits and routines that will get you there.

Guess now all there is to do is go out there and make a difference. I wish you all the best.

self help

About the Creator

Noah Douglas

Perpetually curious.

Journeyman of faith†

Runner, writer, marketer.

Some of my other work ↓

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