This is kind of a mental exercise I’ve been going through recently.
I wasn’t sure exactly the right way to say or write this. I’m still not sure if the title does a good job of it.
But I’ll try to explain myself as we go along.
What kind of sparked this idea was my grandpa. I was thinking about how he went about his daily life. He was certainly someone I admired. He seemed to be in a good mood most of the time. Maybe just when he was around others, but overall he seemed happy.
Certainly sad sometimes. Certainly upset at times. But most pretty happy and satisfied. And it made others want to be around him.
One of the strange things, at least recently, was how it seemed that my grandpa wanted to make others happy. But I think he succeeded at it because he wanted to make himself happy. It made him happy to have others happy.
Being A Little Selfish
We know how when you’re on an airplane how they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before putting it on someone else, right?
The idea is that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. If you’re not in a good place then you’re just going to bring others down. You’re not going to be any help at all.
It seems selfish. It kind of goes against the way we tend to think.
But it’s really true.
And the more I thought about this the more I realized that successful people and happy people have a little selfishness to them.
But maybe it’s not selfishness in the way we typically think. Maybe they’re just taking care of themselves so they can help others.
Think for a moment about the people you admire.
Think about what you admire about them.
They’re successful. Maybe with a business they’ve started and have run successfully.
I have a few people in my mind right now.
I’ve gone through a few of them and for the most part they were really good at focusing on what made them happy. They focused on what they really wanted to do in life.
That takes a little selfishness.
It’s a weird thing.
The things we usually admire about people are the things they do for themselves.
Yet we want to admire things that people do for others. We want to admire ourselves for things we do for others. But with that approach we can’t really become someone that others admire. We also probably can’t do things that make us happy in life.
Success + Balance
The main takeaway here is that we have to be a little selfish in life in order to achieve things. Obviously there’s a balance to life in many ways. We don’t want to do things entirely for ourselves especially if we have others relying on us.
But if we want success. If we want to run a successful business. If we want to do something or some things that others will admire about us then we have to be a little selfish. We have to do them because we care about them. Because they really matter to us.
You have to not care about what others think. If writing songs makes you happy, the actual writing of the songs, then do it every day. Be a little selfish about it. Do it all the time. Take time from other activities to do it.
Chances are if you’re in that place that you’ll write some songs that will impact others. Your being selfish will result in you having positive impact on others.
It’s one of life’s contradictions. It’s crazy.
But we need to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of others.