Monday, November 03, 2008

The Art of Selfishness

I recently got back from a pleasant stay in Greece. As I sat on the aeroplane waiting to take off to return home I was listening to the usual safety procedures. As the stewardess spoke, something she said really hit home. The words” In the event of needing to use the oxygen masks, make sure you fit yours first before you help others. We of course think nothing of this statement because it makes complete sense. What’s the point of helping others when you need to take care of your self first?

Part of our life programming has been the belief that selfishness is bad. Well it is in the traditional sense. But I am talking about positive selfishness or rational selfishness. You and me, we are here to live the life that we choose to live aren’t we? We all have dreams and aspirations in life. Some people have big dreams and goals, and some people have smaller dreams and goals. The point is are you living your life in line with your desires.

The harsh reality is; many people aren’t. I see people every – day working in jobs they hate. I see people sharing their lives with people they don’t like! This is called sacrifice. We all have the right to choose the life we live, and we also have the right to sacrifice ourselves, but is this really the way we are suppose to live?

We have all heard stories of people who would love to get a degree or a PhD but feel that it would be too selfish “I wouldn’t have any time for my family” or the woman who has fallen out of love with her partner, but chooses to stay in the relationship,” but he is kind and he wouldn’t betray me, he has a good heart”…What this person is really saying, is I don’t have the self-esteem to get myself out of this loveless relationship.

Maybe it is a fear of criticism or some other fear that is stopping her from changing their life situation. Instead she must justify her decision to stay in the relationship with as much logic as she can think of. This could of course equally apply to us men as well.

…To put ourselves first, puts us in a position of strength. When we practice being true to ourselves, we are of more use to others - not less, because we are happier and as a result healthier. We are less preoccupied with the what ifs of life. If we harbour unhappiness and project that on others, we are being selfish in the most negative sense.

Yes, selfishness is an art: it must be used in the right way and not abused. In a nutshell it is about being true to yourself, following your dreams and desires, it is about listening to your own mind and not someone else’s. It is true that if you don’t make your own choices in life, someone else will do it for you. We are all being influenced by others all the time, without even realising it. We become reactive to people and situations around us.

Negative selfishness is on the other hand a potentially nasty thing. There is no benefit at all in adopting an uncaring attitude towards others. We all need other people to live a full healthy balanced and fulfilling life. The goal is to be able to assert our needs, desires and passions, and that is positive selfishness!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why your New Year resolution didn't last and what you can do about it?

It’s been almost two months since you made that promise “I am going to quit smoking this year” I am going to stop eating chocolate or I am going to find a new job. So what happened? Maybe you enjoy smoking too much, after all you don’t smoke much and you only drink now and again, you have to have some vices right? As for the chocolate you really don’t eat that much and we all need an extra boost in the afternoon, yeah right! What about the career change? “IT`S BEST TO STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW RIGHT!

Why take risks? Who am I kidding! What makes me think I can be different my dad was right, go into a safe profession and stay there.

To many of us these words are only too familiar. Okay I am sure there are some of you that have already made some big changes this year.

Already in the last two months a few of you are I am sure are right on track. Even I seemed to have gotten off to pretty good start.

The truth is we can make changes any time we choose. Notice I say choose. One thing I have realised over the last few years is that almost everything we do is a choice. Some of these choices are conscious and many are unconscious. We are making choices every day of our lives. What to eat, where to eat, what to wear and what not to wear. We even choose whether or not we go to work each day. Then there is the choice of who we spend our time with. Choice of course does have its drawbacks, too many can create inner conflicts and anxiety. We even have choice about choice, try and get your head around that one.

So here is what I am getting at? Don’t tell yourself “I will stop smoking or I will quit junk food because you will probably find a part of you inside is yelling “WHO ARE KIDDING” When you say I choose to quit smoking or I choose to eat healthier foods you notice an amazing sense of self-empowerment you find when you stop tying to order your subconscious mind around, the pressure disappears, you start taking control and you begin to succeed at creating changes in your life,

So, if you want to quit smoking, say to yourself now

“I will stop smoking”……………notice how you feel……….

Now say to yourself

“I choose to be a non smoker”…………notice how you feel……….

Can you sense the difference?

What is your desire?If there is a real secret to personal change it has to be DESIRE because without desire you will be beaten before you start. There is a huge difference between thinking you should do something and wanting to do something. Even if you want to achieve something i.e. lose thirty pounds of fat, develop more self-confidence or become a millionaire, are you prepared to do what it takes? probably not. For the small percentage that does the rewards are high. The move to better health, happiness and success is what you can expect. The point is why wait for the New Year to come around, make sure you choose your desired changes, focus on the end result and just do it now!