Success is a process of change. It’s a process of growing up from the person you used to be, and transforming into the person you’re meant to be.
Successful human beings remind me of monarch butterflies. When human beings are born, they’re not much more than little caterpillars. They crawl across the ground, and only see the world from the ground up. But at some point, amazing human beings grow, develop wings, fly away like butterflies, and spread their ideas all across the world.
This weekend, I was thinking deeply about the process human beings take to evolve from the child-state and become special, talented, and amazing adults. Two steps came to mind that all human beings must take to become spectacular individuals.
Step #1: Be selfish.
Step #2: Be Selfless.
This is what I mean….
Step #1: Be Selfish.
Don’t tune me out here. I realize the word “Selfish” gets a bad wrap most of the time. Selfishness is often synonymous with ugly personality characteristics, like greed and self-centeredness. But that’s not the type of selfishness I am promoting here.
This type of selfishness I am talking about is the healthy version of selfishness.
Every human being experiences periods of stress, confusion, and disillusionment as they go through their lives. Crisis’ and tragedies happen to all of us. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. It’s easy to fall off track and get lost in the chaos as unexpected situations happen to us all the time. It’s a natural and unfair part of life.
As a result, our mental and physical health can take a toll. Once you’re an adult, you learn that you are the only one who can get your physical and mental health back. You have to choose to want it, and fight for it. Choosing to be selfish is sometimes the only way to find yourself once you’ve lost yourself.
The type of selfishness I am advocating is the healthy type. Healthy selfishness is being willing to pause everything in your life, so you can make your physical and mental health your #1 priority. Healthy selfishness is choosing to heal, and take care of yourself first, before you try to solve all of the external problems in the world.
I think a lot of people make the mistake of trying to help too many people when they first try to turn their life around. Being stretched-too-thin, and giving too much of yourself to other people’s problems, is how burnout happens. Burnout leads to giving up, and giving up, leads you to repeat your past.
That’s why I think it’s Ok to be selfish as a first step when you’re trying to re-discover your health, happpiness, and purpose. It’s Ok to turn off everything for a period of time, and listen to your own heart and needs. Do a deep dive on yourself, and just say “No” to everything that is pulling you away from the direction YOU want to go.
Healthy selfishness is saying “No” to everything you don’t want to do, so you can learn how to say “Yes” to the things you do want to do.
Here are some examples of healthy selfishness:
#1) You Stop Caring What Other People Think, and You Start Paying Attention To What You Think.
#2) You Quit Being Concerned About People’s Expectations Of You, And You Find New Expectations For Yourself That You Think Are Important.
#3) You Stop Listening to What Media Is Telling You to Do, and You Fearlessly and Aggressively Try to Find What Your God is Telling You to do.
#4) You Identify the Harmful Addictions In Your Life, and You Put Everything On Hold Until Those Addictions Are Destroyed.
#5) You Go on a Mission to Become a Healthier, Happier Person. You Prioritize this Mission Above Everything Else Fighting For Your Attention and Time.
The good people in your life will understand your need to focus on yourself and take back your life.
If the people in your life don’t understand you, then honestly, you don’t need them in your life. They are slowing you down. If your friends or family don’t understand your quest to become healthier — then honestly — that’s a clear sign that you need to find new and better people to be around.
Sick people want you to stay sick with them. Happy and healthy people, want to help you become happier and healthier. Move on from sick people. Re-fill your life with happier and healthier people. Even though letting old friends and family go is one of the hardest things to do, it’s one of the biggest secrets to increase your happiness and success.
This “Healthy Selfish” stage can last days, weeks, or years depending on your situation. It’s different for every person. But once you become healthy on your terms again, there will come a time when every healthy person must grow out of this stage to reach the next stage.
Just like a caterpillar has to crawl into a cocoon to transform into a butterfly and leave it’s ground-dwelling days in the past, a healthy person also has to grow their own wings and eventually fly out of the selfish stage into the next stage, the: “Selfless Stage.”
Step #2: Be Selfless.
The “Selfless stage” begins when you start feeling healthy, strong, and happy again. The “Selfless Stage” is the period where you take everything you learned during the “Selfish” stage, and apply those life lessons to help the greater world around you.
Being “selfless” means that you stop living for yourself, and instead, live to make the world a better place.
In the “Selflessness Stage” it’s almost like you can fly high above your own micro-problems, and visualize the macro-problems that the world has. In this stage, you stop caring about your own problems, and instead, you care about helping the world heal from its problems. To help solve the world’s problem, you simply take the life lessons you’ve learned, and you share those lessons with as many people as you can to help make the world become a better and healthier place.
Here are some examples of living a “Selfless Life”:
#1) You Use the Life Lessons You’ve Learned To Help Others.
#2) You Dream About Making Other People’s Lives Better.
#3) You Sacrifice What You Want, so You can Make the Biggest Impact Possible on the World.
#4) You Always Increase Your Goals, so You can Increase the Amount of People You Can Reach.
#5) After Doing All of the Above to Make the World Better, You Find That Being Selfless Is What Actually Makes Your Life Better.
The Selfless Stage is the period of life when “work” stops becoming “work.” Instead the “work” you do is more like how a butterfly flies. It’s a graceful and purposeful event as you do what you are meant to do. Your “work” becomes a selfless adventure where your mission is to use your skills and talents to make the world a better place.
Life is a long period of continual transformation. Amazing humans are constantly adapting, evolving, and transforming to solve new problems in their lives. If a problem arises, they don’t ignore it. They adapt, change, and grow to solve it.
If you find yourself in a funk after a strange period of life, these are the two steps you to take to get your life back on track: First, Be Selfish to get your health and sanity back. Then, Be Selfless to help others get their health and sanity back.
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