I used to think the key to happiness and success in life came from the art of giving and being selfless. After all, we live in a world where selfishness is common and selflessness barely exists.
I hated selfish people. I made it my day-to-day job to undo the bad I thought they did. What I didn’t realize, though, was how necessary it is to be selfish in this world. In fact, the key to happiness is indeed being selfish.
So, what does it mean to be selfish?
To be selfish means you exist without people or things or places. Being selfish means you have an identity that belongs to you and only you. It’s an identity that when removed from a person, place or thing is your own. It’s reliance of and on the self.
However, it cannot happen until you go out of your way to make sure you do things that are just for you.
Other people can’t make you happy and materials can’t make you happy. When they do, they’re only little adrenaline rushes. It’s something like a drug that gives you a high — but how long does the high last before you’re hit with the comedown that manages to last twice as long?
I used to be happy and sad and always at the same time. It was because I gave too much to and for other people. I was one in seven billion who became what everyone else wanted of me — except me. It was no wonder I felt alone at night; I didn’t know who I was until someone told me who he or she wanted me to be for the day.
So, I finally hit the brake pedal. I gave up on trying to make the world happy and decided to do things for myself. I realized I couldn’t save people, no matter how badly I had wanted to do so.
All I could do was save myself, and in doing so, maybe give someone else the chance to be the same type of happy. I would do it by revealing how the selfless person became selfish and found happiness. I mean, I gave and gave, but who was giving for me? Who sacrificed anything at all, for me? No one.
It didn’t mean they were bad people; it just meant they had something I didn’t. Something I saw as self worth and importance. Do for yourself and when you do for others, don’t sacrifice your identity.
So, I spent time alone. I read books, went to parks, found new bars and did things I loved without looking for someone else’s approval. I existed by myself, for myself. It made all of the difference.
We think people will like us more if we do everything they want; if we are everything they want. But in doing that, we become objects. People aren’t objects; they’re visions and stand for purposes.
How many friends do you really need? How many people do you need to call your best friend? I mean, how many can you have when you can barely keep up with the amount of people you’re trying to know?
I’ve learned that in your 20s, you must come first. Maybe that’s hard to grasp sometimes, but your life and future does not create itself in your teens. It happens more so in your 20s — the decade of figuring out who you are and what you want.
So, let go of things. Stop deciding an unknown future based on a temporary bliss and fleeting acceptance. Be selfish. Be you and who you want to be without the pressures of outside opinions.
What’s meant to be will always end up being. You can’t rush or slow it down; it will happen when and where it does, when it’s supposed to.
Be selfish and make decisions that will lead to your ultimate happiness. Give in to your wants. This is the only time we can really be selfish without restraint.