Selfishness & Success: Do You Have to Be Selfish to Succeed?

Your cousin can borrow your bike anytime he wished.

Friends can ask you for money whenever they feel like it.

And your classmates can phone you anytime for help (even at 2 a.m.).

You’re always eager to help family, friends, classmates, and even strangers.

And why shouldn’t you? After all, helping others is a good thing, right? But, quite often, you wonder why you aren’t as successful as others—why your good karma is not rewarding you?

“Hmm, well, maybe it’s just luck. Not everybody can be successful in life,” you console yourself.

What Exactly You Need to Be Successful?

What if you’re living in a fools’ paradise?

Have you ever thought if your ‘helping nature’ is your own worst enemy?

What if you’re ignoring the very thing that’s needed to be successful in life?

How would you feel if I told you that Selfishness is the key to success?

“Selfishness? OMG!? Do I need to be selfish to be successful?”

“Yes, selfishness is the key to success?” Haven’t you heard that?

“Can’t do that.”

Why? Don’t you want to be successful?

“I do . . . but . . . .”

But what?

“I don’t know. I mean, be selfish for being successful? No, no. Why don’t you understand? It’s wrong to be selfish.”

Really?

Okay, let’s understand what does being selfish mean:

What Does It Mean to Be Selfish?

It means you take care of your needs first. That’s it—nothing more, nothing less.

A selfish person takes good care of his body, mind, and soul. He’s balanced, calm, and full of energy.

His ‘selfishness’ helps him get stronger and more resourceful to help others in the best way possible.

If Selfishness is Important for Success, Why People Condemn It?

We look down upon selfishness because we’ve forgotten its real meaning. Most people confuse a selfish person with a mean one.

 ‘Selfish’ Vs. ‘Mean’

There’s a fine line between being selfish and being mean. You see, a selfish person puts himself first without exploiting others and respects others’ right to be selfish. On the other hand, a mean person has no concern or regard for other people. He manipulates others to get whatever he wishes, by any means.

So, this is what’s happened: being selfish has been mistaken for being mean.

Being Selfish Makes You Uncomfortable?

You’re aware that you must be selfish to be successful, but then, you’re not sure if it’s okay to embrace selfishness.

And I know why you feel that way.

You see, it’s quite natural to feel guilty about being selfish, at least in a country like India, because the majority of the people consider sacrificing one’s own life sacred—for religion, for the country, for an ideology, anything.

Is this what you believe?

The World

Country

Society

Family

Self

Forget it. Consider this:

Self

Family

Society

Country

The World

Your world exists because you exist.

Why Become Selfish?

Want to change the world? Great.

Since ‘Charity beings at home,’ why not start with yourself? You, too, are a part of the world, aren’t you?

Think . . .

Can you love others if you don’t love even yourself?

Can you help others prosper if you, yourself, are living paycheck-to-paycheck?

How can you help others succeed while you’re still struggling to become successful?

You can only help others if you help yourself first. In fact, when you work on yourself, you can’t help but end up making others’ lives better in some way or the other.

Here’s Why You Believe It’s OK to Sacrifice Your Life

You were conditioned against selfishness by certain people so they could use you to their advantage.

Your parents sacrificed their lives for others, which made you believe that it’s a virtue to be a ‘doormat.’

You hate yourself on an unconscious level and hence feel unworthy of success.

Be Selfish And Successful Or Fail Big Time. Your Call

My father believed it was okay to put himself and his family last.

Selfishness was not his cup of tea, so he sacrificed his life for others, even for the people who backstabbed him.

I remember accompanying him to one of my aunts’ marriage functions when I was only 10.

I wanted to play with other kids, which you’d agree, was natural. But my father scolded me, “Avdhesh, why have you come here in the first place—to give a helping hand or waste time playing?”

The people he wanted me to give a ‘helping hand’ were the ones making our lives miserable—gossiping, black magic, and whatnot.

I feel bad whenever I remember that incident.

You see, it’s not just a question of being selfish but also of self-respect. And mind you, you don’t owe a helping hand to the people who mean harm to you.

The Unselfish mindset cost my father the success he could have achieved (had he been a little selfish).

Success Takes Time, And So Does Embracing Selfishness

Accepting the fact that selfishness is key to success can be challenging initially.

But the moment you realize it is perfectly okay to be selfish, you shall be on the right track.

Remember: People do not become selfish when they succeed; they succeed because they were selfish.

Of course, you can choose to believe selfishness is evil, but it will do you no good—it never does.

The sooner you can realize selfishness is key to success, the better.

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