The Positive Side of Being Selfish
Taking Care of Yourself is The Nicest Thing You Can do For Everyone Around You
Being “selfish” isn’t always a bad thing, especially when you are practicing “generous selfishness”. I’ll explain this concept in a moment, but first remember that all progress comes at a price. You will need to make some decisions and stick with them if you expect to see changes. That price is often in time or commitment. The rewards for living your best life are immense, so I encourage you to figure out the price.
Change is rarely comfortable. Even positive decisions—such as exchanging four hours of daily TV-watching for extra sleep, exercise, and social time—may still feel hard to actually do in the beginning or on challenging days. Setting goals and envisioning the rewards can help you stay focused.
To live your best life, you will have to practice what I call “generous selfishness” and protect your health. Being selfish in this way does not mean being anti-social or petty with your time. By selfishly guarding the time and priority you give your health, fitness, nutrition, and sleep, you will be generously protecting those who love you and rely on you. Maybe you are providing for a family. Maybe you have children or parents who rely on your care. Maybe you just have people who love you and want to spend time with you. Your ability to do all of these things depends on your health.
When you dedicate time, energy, and focus to your health and well-being, this is both selfish and generous. It’s selfish because you aren’t necessarily helping others while you are out on your walk or taking extra time to prepare a healthy meal with fresh ingredients. But it’s generous when you look at the big picture: Staying healthier lets you be there for others longer, molds you into better shape mentally and physically, usually puts you in a better mood, and maybe even makes you a better provider for you and your family.