According to Dicationary.com selfish means, “Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.” Let’s think about selfish behavior on a spectrum; on one extreme is someone who is totally self-absorbed and on the other they are totally selfless. In order to achieve Personal Agility we need to find ourselves somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, we need to be somewhat selfish. There, I said it… we need to be selfish (Well at least part of the time).
Let’s examine why we can’t be mostly selfish and why we can’t be completely selfless either:
- Mostly selfish people care only about one person and that is themselves. Personal Agility requires us to have a strong foundation of Meaningful Relationships. We can’t form lasting relationships without caring for the individual(s) involved. We have all encountered the persona of a totally self-absorbed person before, these individuals will be the first to stab you in the back when they see an opening that they can exploit. We don’t typically want to associate with these individuals for long because their behaviors inhibit a relationship from forming
- People who are selfless, who always think of others first and never put their needs ahead of others can’t achieve Personal Agility either. While we might call these people saints, it’s very easy for them to burnout. They give and give and give until nothing is left in their tank. It’s very easy for them to overcommit themselves and wind up having nothing left. A very dear friend of mine is like this, she is always giving of herself and at times she falls apart when she has nothing left in her tank
In order to achieve Personal Agility we have to learn to be a selfish (well at least a little selfish). We need to learn to take care of ourselves first, that way we have the capacity to take care of others too.
One thing that I am very selfish about is my exercise. I can be flexible about when I work out, but most days I need to get some type of exercise. This often requires me to make sacrifices in other areas of my life; like when a co-worker invites me to dinner and I have to say no because I haven’t hit the gym yet. For me working out; keeps me healthy, strong, and full of energy. It’s this energy that helps me charge through life and allows me to take care of others.
For you it may not be exercise; it might be a morning meditation, an early afternoon tea, or a round of golf on the weekend. Whatever it is that recharges your batteries and gives you the energy to give to others, you need to find it and do it regularly. Give yourself permission to be selfish and everyone around you will be better off!
Share below in the comments what you give yourself permission to the selfish about!