“Dare to be selfish first so that you can become truly selfless always.”
Jason “J-Boom” Legaard
This is a quote that tends to shake up a lot of people when they read it for the first time. The initial reaction is wait a minute… be selfish first? But we’ve all been programmed that being selfish is never the way to act.
And yet if you have the courage to follow through on the principle of this quote, your ability to serve selflessly can increase by 10X.
Break The Rules
The first step to take is being completely ok with breaking the rules when it comes to being selfish. Now let me ease your mind that this style of being selfish doesn’t mean that you’re taking anything away from anyone else.
This simply means that for once, you make the divine choice to put yourself first. Ahead of other “supposed obligations” and expectations put upon you by others. Whether that be helping neighbors move on your only free weekend or setting aside that extra bonus money to attend a much needed health retreat.
No matter how much resistance you might encounter from friends, family or your fellow “cubicle warrior” at work… realize that you can (and should) put yourself first.
But Why Put Yourself First?
Look I understand that making this mindset shift can be quite challenging. But it’s absolutely necessary if you’re seeking to serve the most people with your unique talents and gifts. Because if you continue to put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own… eventually you’ll suffocate your own success.
To make this change a bit easier, I’ll reference the most common example from our everyday lives that we all take as fact and consider 100% logical. And that is… what do they always tell you when you fly on any commercial airliner with children?
You’ve heard it a million times… put your own oxygen mask on first. But why? Because if you were to help your child first you could put yourself in danger and end up not being to help anyone else. So when you fly (like catching a flight to a Happy Buddha retreat in Australia) the airline is literally ordering you to “be selfish.”
Selfish First, Serve Always
The final point I want to let sink in around this idea of how you must put yourself first and becoming more selfish is the most important. If you don’t take care of improving yourself first, you’ll never truly be able to maximize your contribution to others.
Most people will push themselves to the limits in their job, for their family and their community. They are so keen to help others, they lose sight of themselves. And in forgetting about your needs, there’s no way you can maintain your workload.
And at some point, everything will come crumbling down. When it does, you’ll be unable to help anyone else because you never helped yourself first. The great thing is that there are a wide variety of simple things you can do to be selfish so you can serve better.
One of the easiest ways would be to treat yourself to a glorious weekend getaway where you can step away from all pressure, overwhelm and obligations. To spend time in peaceful nature, enjoy the distinct healing effect of sound therapy and ease into yoga and mediation.
Even attending these type of retreats 3 or 4 times a year can have a significant impact on your ability to maintain your energy and focus to help others. So if you’re looking to help the most people you can… put yourself first.