The Art of Healthy Selfishness

Selfishness gets a bad rap.

Part of living a simple life involves being selfish. Living involves selfishness.

Just look at one of the most selfish beings on the planet … infants.

They require constant care with no regard for other’s sleep, free time, and relaxation. But are they called selfish? Not in the slightest.

If you take the same child at the age of 2, 3, or 4 who exhibits the same characteristics as an infant then most definitely you’ll hear the label. Not even to mention the same characteristics in a full grown adult.

So, part of growing up must mean learning to be unselfish and how to compromise? Right?

Not necessarily.

As with most everything, there are extremes … and the extremes seem to be where we most often reside. Society teaches that selfishness is bad, so a generation of Nice Guys is the result.

It’s as though in an effort to remove any hint of selfishness, others must always come first.

But to me, 180┬║ from crazy is just another form of crazy.

So, rather than gravitating to an extreme, perhaps we would benefit from learning the art of healthy selfishness. A selfishness that is capable of incorporating the interests of others as well as demonstrating love, care and concern to those around you – and most importantly, a love and care for yourself.

To begin: realize that we are all selfish … every one of us!

But healthy selfishness is a process of managing a hierarchy of desires and needs. Things like eating, pleasure, saving for retirement, giving to others, etc. We feel passionate about desires that are deeply personal, important, and urgent which make us intensely committed toward a course of action.

Therefore, selfishness is actually a wellspring of passion.

So what if the next time you begin to wonder if you’re being selfish, ask yourself if you’re passionate.

Would this question produce anything different?

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