Your cousin can borrow your bike anytime he wished.
Your classmates can phone you (even at 2 o’clock in the morning) if they needed help with the college assignment.
Your friends can ask for money whenever they feel like it.
You’re always eager to help family, friends and even strangers. And why shouldn’t you? After all, helping others is a good thing, right? But, quite often you feel a kind of confusion and restlessness—you wonder why your good karma is not rewarding you—why aren’t you as successful as others?
‘Hmm, well, maybe it’s just luck. Not everybody is destined to have grand success.’ You say to yourself. But, you know something is wrong. What could it be?
Selfishness is the Key to Success?
What if you’re living in a fools’ paradise? What if your “helping nature” is your own worst enemy? What if you’re ignoring the very thing that’s needed to get successful—”Selfishness?”
‘Selfishness? OMG!? Do I need to be selfish to get successful?’
Yes. Why? Haven’t you heard, “Selfishness is the Key to Success?”
‘Can’t do that. It’s wrong to be selfish.’
‘Aren’t you serious about succeeding?’
‘Selfishness? No. Why don’t you understand? It’s wrong to be selfish.’
‘Really? Okay, let’s understand what does being selfish mean.’
What Does It Mean to Be Selfish?
It means you take care of your needs, first. That’s it—nothing more, nothing less.
A selfish person takes good care of his body, mind, and soul. He’s balanced, calm and full of energy. His “selfishness” helps him get stronger and more resourceful so he could help others in the best way possible.
Why Is Selfishness Condemned?
We look down upon selfishness because we’ve forgotten its real meaning. Most people confuse selfishness with meanness.
“Selfish” Vs “Mean”
There’s a fine line between being selfish and being mean. You see, a selfish person puts himself first without exploiting others, and also respects others’ right to be selfish. On the other hand, a mean person has no concern or regards for other people. He exploits others to get whatever he wishes, by any means.
So, this is what’s happened: being selfish has been mistaken for being mean.
Selfishness Makes You Uncomfortable?
You’re aware that you need to be selfish to achieve success, but then, you’re not sure if it’s okay. And I know why you feel that way. You see, it’s quite natural to feel guilty about being selfish, at least in a country like India because the majority of the people consider sacrificing one’s own life sacred—for religion, for the country, for an ideology, anything.
Is this what you believe?…
Forget it. Consider this:
Your world exists because you exist.
Why Become Selfish?
Want to change the world? Great.
Since “Charity beings at home”, why not start with yourself? You too are the part of the world, aren’t you?
Can you love others if you don’t love even yourself?
Can you help others prosper if you, yourself are living paycheck-to-paycheck?
How can you help others succeed while you’re still struggling to achieve success?
You can only help others if you help yourself first. In fact, when you work on yourself, you can’t help but end up making others’ lives better in some way or the other.
Reasons You Believe It’s OK to Sacrifice Your Life
You were conditioned against selfishness by certain people so they could use you to their advantage.
Your parents sacrificed their lives for others, and it made you believe that it’s a virtue to be a “doormat.”
You hate yourself on an unconscious level, and hence feel unworthy of success.
Success Or Failure? Take Your Pick
My father believed it was okay to put himself and his family last. Selfishness was not his cup of tea, and so he sacrificed his life for others, even for the people who backstabbed him.
I remember accompanying him to one of my aunts’ marriage function when I was only 10. I wanted to play with other kids, which you’d agree, was natural. But my father scolded me ‘Avdhesh, why have you come here in the first place—to give a helping hand or waste time playing?’
The people he wanted me to give a “helping hand” were the ones making our lives miserable—gossiping, black magic, and whatnot.
I feel bad whenever I remember that incident. You see, it’s not just a question of being selfish but also of self-respect. And mind you, you don’t owe a helping hand to the people who mean harm to you. The Unselfish mindset cost my father the success he could have achieved (had he been a little selfish).
Embracing Selfishness Takes Time
Accepting the fact that selfishness is the key to success can be hard initially. But the moment you realise it is perfectly okay to be selfish, you shall be on the right track. Remember: People do not become selfish when they succeed; they succeed because they were selfish.
Of course, you can choose to believe selfishness is evil, but it will do you no good—it never does. The sooner you realise selfishness is the key to success, the better.
Are you ready to say, ‘Yes, I am Selfish?’