I cannot tell you how many times I have been called, by my mother: selfish, and self-centered. I’m sure that surprises many of you (hell, it surprises me every time!) as you know me as someone who is loving, kind, and hopefully there to support and help you on your journey. I’ll let you in on a secret:
I wouldn’t be able to help you, if I wasn’t so selfish.
That’s because, contrary to what many of us grew up believing, in order to serve others we must first serve ourselves. I know countless women, and men, who give and give and give themselves and their time to others without taking care of themselves. I have known the run-down teacher who cries herself to sleep every night. I have known the haggard young activist who doesn’t give himself the time to eat a decent meal. I was once the passionate employee who took on so many jobs that I couldn’t do any of them to my best ability. All of these people have one thing in common: they aren’t selfish. They live to serve and please others. But they also neglect their own needs and wants. This is unsustainable and believe me, I know. I was that person for most of my life. But the moment I realized that I needed to build love for MYSELF, my life changed.
When I asked my mother why thinks I’m selfish, she told me “because life doesn’t revolve around you.” But guess what? IT DOES! Life completely revolves around you; because you are the only one living your life. You are the only one in compete control of your life. You are the only one can truly make the right decisions for yourself. You are the only one who can change your destiny. So what would happen to this planet if we all started making ourselves happy, first?
Osho writes, “What is the meaning of being selfish? The first basic thing is to be self-centered. The second basic thing is always to look for ones blissfulness. If you are self-centered, you will be selfish whatsoever you do. You may go and serve people but you will only do it because you enjoy it, because you love doing it, and you feel happy and blissful doing it – you feel yourself doing it. You're not doing any duty; you are not serving humanity. You are not a great martyr; you're not sacrificing. These are all nonsensical terms. You are simply being happy in your own way – it feels good to you. ⠀
A self-centered person is always seeking his happiness. And this is the beauty of it, that the more you see your happiness the more you will help others to be happy. Because that is the only way to be happy in the world. If everybody else around you is unhappy, you cannot be happy, because man is not an island. He's part of the vast continent. If you want to be happy, you will have to help others who surround you to be happy. Then – and only then – can you be happy. You have to create the atmosphere of happiness around you. If everybody is miserable, how can you be happy? You will be affected. You're not a stone, you are very delicate being, very sensitive. Misery is as infectious is any disease. Blissfulness is also infectious as any disease. If you help others to be happy, in the end you help yourself to be happy. A person who is deeply interested in his happiness is always interested in others happiness also, but not for them. Deep down he is interested in himself; that's why helps. If in the world everybody is taught to be selfish, the whole world will be happy. There will be no possibility for misery.”