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By Paula G | January 17, 2006
Selfish has gotten a bad wrap. Even the dictionary equates selfish with the desire to consider one’s own interests at the expense of others. However, that is not really what being selfish is. Selfish at its purest sense is taking care of one’s own interests. It is being self-aware, self-full, and self-caring. That is, being conscious of our own needs and interests and taking care of ourselves. It does not mean being egocentric, uncaring, or making choices that are at the expense of others.
Think of selfishness as being aware of the need to take care of yourself. The best analogy out there is to think of the flight attendant’s instructions in case of an an emergency on the plane. “Put your oxygen mask on before you assist others.” Because, if you can’t breathe and function, you’ll be of no use to anyone else.
That is what I mean by selfishness. Putting on your oxygen mask and making sure you are OK before you try to help others. It is an ongoing process of making sure you are tending to your own self-care on a daily basis so you can be of service to others and perform at your best.
So, here’s my 5 benefits of learning to be selfish:
1) More energy.
By taking care of yourself and replenishing your energy, you have more energy to give to your work, your play, and your relationships.
2) It upgrades your personality.
Anyone who has run themselves ragged tending to everyone else’s demands knows that it is a surefire way to become bitchy, cranky, and reactive. If you give yourself the attention you need and deserve, you automatically handle all the rest of the “stuff” around you easier and with more grace.
3) Improves your health and well-being.
If you are paying attention to the needs of your body, mind, and spirit, you cannot help but look and feel better.
4) You become more effective and productive.
Time for self-care creates room for clarity and renewal. It makes you mentally sharper and able to be more creative and effective. Have you ever gotten a good idea or solved a problem while taking a shower or going for a walk? If so, you already know the value of taking a break from constant activity.
5) You get more of what you want and less of what you don’t.
People with a strong consistent practice of self-care are simply more attractive. They are getting their needs met on an ongoing basis. With that comes a host of bonuses, one of which is being able to attract more positive people, opportunities, and things into your life. Commitment to self-care acts like a magnet drawing positive outcomes towards you and repelling negative people and habits.
I’m sure I’ll be talking a lot more about this topic in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, one of the best books I have ever read on learning how to incorporate self-care into your life is Cheryl Richardson’s “Take Time for Your Life”.
Topics: Productivity & Self-Care | 1 Comment »