Invest time into yourself and stop living for others. Start living for you. Later, once you’ve achieved your goals, you’ll be thankful.
Not sure if this concerns you? Consider your relationships – have they become one-sided? Perhaps their health is dwindling more than you’d care to admit. Maybe you’ve noticed your peer is not nearly as interested in your success as you are theirs.
Remember that passion that once drove you? You know, that longing for success that kept you centered? Maybe it’s lost its edge. Perhaps you’re losing the motivation to get up each morning.
Is any of the above applicable to your life? If so, read on.
How Selfless Are You?
Dealing with change is tough. Change is even tougher to handle when you aren’t focused on your needs.
People invest a surprising amount of time in the happiness of others. This focus isn’t necessarily an act of self-harm. Life shines brighter with a few selfless folks in the bunch.
While commendable, the act of exerting your efforts onto another has its downsides. The human population is filled with various personalities. From assertive folks, to the aggressive, to more passive individuals – society is quite colorful.
Within that grouping is an even larger gap. First, there are those who focus solely on themselves. The second group only entertains the needs of others. The final group falls in the middle. These folks sit on a delicate seam between both their own needs and the requests of others.
Whatever your personality, your key focus will likely differ from your friend’s. For some, the focus on the individual is purely ambition-driven. The desire to succeed often overrides this person’s private – and public – relationships. Such a focus isn’t a bad thing. Great minds with detailed archives of past achievements fill this group.
Others focus on the individual with an egotistical mindset. For this person, the desire to succeed is often irrelevant. Such an individual is simply unable to see past his front steps. Sure, said person may take notice to the pain of others. But rather than taking action, he will proceed to concentrate on his newest problem.
Conversely, folks who invest their entire self into the happiness of others are overtly selfless.
Their genuine care for the world is uplifting. History is filled with such giving figures, and the good deeds executed by such people are wondrous.
Sadly, there is such a thing as being too selfless.
Maybe I’m too generous. Why does it matter?
As a constant source of support for others, you hinder your well-being. The downsides to this personality type may not show itself right away. With time, though, you will notice the consequences. Eventually, you must put yourself first.
The prime area is that middle group – the folks who exude characteristics of both the selfless and the self-loving. To obtain that status, you must exude a happy medium of each group.
The following points illustrate why you must, at some point, put yourself ahead of the crowd.
1. You can’t help everyone.
Investing your time on everyone around is disastrous. Realizing the magnitude of this act takes time. You may spend years aiding others without a second thought concerning your own well-being.
Remember: you can’t solve everything. Determined and headstrong, you may try. Your diligent efforts to ensure the happiness of others may be – for the most part – successful. But attempting to help everyone is like stopping popcorn from burning.
Once it’s burnt, there’s nothing left to do. You can try to save it, but that bag is burnt. Like those you attempt to help, you can only do so much.
Sure, you can attempt to save everyone. Maybe you will donate a few dollars to your neighbor’s house fund after a horrific house fire. Perhaps you will provide sound advice to a loved one going through a tough time. Sadly, some folks are far too gone when you arrive. That neighbor will likely need way more for a new house than you are able to invest financially. Your loved one may have subconsciously decided to take the self-harm route before your advice was given.
Don’t exert your efforts on all those around you. Certain folks are far from saving. Once that breaking point has been ruptured, there is little left you can do.
2. Your happiness and growth in life don’t depend on another.
If you believe this mantra, your selfless acts are much deeper than you likely understand.
By depending on another for your own happiness, you are extremely co-dependent in nature. Don’t grasp those quick notes of gratitude as your sole reason to continue. Your happiness is just as worthy as those around you.
Don’t take it lightly.
Your place in the world depends on your ability to grow with the changes surrounding you. Why remain stagnant because you are concerned about the happiness of others?
Take a stance on your life. Your happiness is dependent upon you.
3. Take care of yourself. Who else will?
Your happiness is not dependent on anyone else. Thus, you must take care of yourself.
You can’t rely on anyone to ensure your happiness. Sure, you may have a spouse or family who encourages those feelings of joy and fulfillment. No matter their input on your life, you have a duty to yourself to be happy.
By not taking care of yourself, you may inadvertently trigger health deterioration. Mentally, physically, emotionally – your health can easily worsen. Once that’s gone, you will be unable to help anyone – including yourself.
Your ability to progress will come to a standstill. The sound advice you once provided will no longer be sought out. Your key professional qualities will lose their strength.
Concentrate on yourself for a change. No one else will do it for you.
4. Opportunities won’t stick around.
Some are rare, and most are incredible. When offered an opportunity, don’t turn it down due to another person’s feelings on the subject. If it fits your desires, go for it.
Whether it’s an enlightening new job offer or a chance to travel with all expenses paid. That last one may be a bit unrealistic, but the principle remains.
Don’t forgo such possibilities to keep another person’s happiness at bay. An opportunity is a wonderful option to consider pursuing. Be humble, but don’t let it go if it’s truly what’s best for you.
Focus your attention on yourself for once.
5. Society will change. You should, too.
Adaptability to changing environment is simply natural. By only investing time in others, you won’t flex well alongside those changes.
Your concentration may help others achieve this feat, but you will be left in the dust. Behind your loved one’s achievements and successes, your desires will be muddled.
Your coworker, Bobby, who nailed that promotional interview last week – remember, that interview you helped him prep for? His promotion has become the sole subject of your lunch meetings. When you try to discuss another topic – perhaps one more akin to your growing desire to try to a different promotion – he cuts you off. Quickly, the conversation turns back around on him.
While Bobby has grown in a fast-paced, changing company, you haven’t moved. At a standstill, you remain stuck at your desk, wondering whether you will ever gain a higher status.
Don’t let this be you. It’s your job to adapt – not to ensure others are capable of doing so.
Save Yourself. Aim for Both!
You may be completely self-absorbed, or incredibly selfless.
No matter your current position on the spectrum, aim for both. If you are far too invested in the happiness of others, you are putting yourself at risk.
Again, the consequences of this behavior may not be evident just yet. Eventually, those downsides will be brought to light. Heed the points mentioned above. Start living for yourself – your path is just as important as that of everyone else.