Becoming Truly Selfish
Many people are pursuing self-transformation through self-transcendence. They believe that the self is evil. Religions preach that we’re born with original sin, and culturally, we are told that altruism and self-sacrifice will lead to a more fulfilling, happy, and rewarding life. These illogical beliefs lead to the absurd, but commonly accepted ideas, that self-abnegation will lead to happiness and spiritual fulfillment. The more we sacrifice ourselves, the superior we are morally.
On the other hand, being selfish is considered bad and that people who are selfish are considered greedy, and untrustworthy. In our culture, we associate selfishness who someone who is willing to stab you in the back, and step all over you to get what they want. With that sort of religious and cultural conditioning, it is easy to understand why so many people never achieve happiness, success, wealth, or live the lifestyle they want. As kids, we were taught to think of others before ourselves, but in the adult world, and especially in business, that mentality will inevitably lead to disaster, depression, bankruptcy, and resentment. If we sacrifice our needs and wants to please others, believing that makes us a good person, and that we will be rewarded for it, we only set up ourselves up for resentment and hostility when life isn’t forthcoming.
The reason people are looking to sacrifice their ego is because their ego is weak and fragile. You can’t sacrifice something you don’t have. The ego in a mature and healthy individual is not something to sacrifice, but something to praise, to be proud of, and to value. You can’t have self-esteem, believe you are important and valuable, and want to relinquish your ego. That doesn’t mean you should exaggerate your importance. Acting arrogant is just as insecure as feeling inferior. It means that you realize that life doesn’t owe you anything, and if you want something in life, you have to put yourself first. Politicians, and anyone else in power do it all the time. Politicians act like they are catering to the needs and wants of the people, something altruism praises, but the reality is, they have been caught many times catering to their own needs. Politicians understand that if they don’t look after their own interest, no else will. If we are continuously sacrificing ourselves to others, and catering to what they want, what are they doing, and who is catering to us? Reality doesn’t work that way, and the people who understand this are the richest, smartest, and most powerful people in the world.
Take off the rose-colored glasses and realize that everyone is working for their own agenda and self-interest, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Even charities are selfish, working for their own interest, as well as the interest of many. Being selfish doesn’t mean that you’re evil. In fact, often when we act for our personal gain, the people around us gain as well. People who volunteer their time, or donate their money, do it for selfish reasons. They do it to feel good, and by wanting to feel good, the people around them gain as well. Its win-win and not a win-lose, which is what we are mistakenly led to believe.
In life, you lose when you consistently put other people first. By making the needs and wants of other people more important than your own, you unwittingly affirm that you are not important, and don’t deserve success and happiness. How can you have a sense of personal dignity, and self-respect by continuously acting and behaving in ways that contradict that? Having self-esteem requires you to be selfish most of the time. It means you acknowledge your worth, that your opinion means something, and that your needs and wants are important. Self-sacrifice tells you to deny all those things.
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