April 29, 2015

Be Selfish and don’t feel guilt about it

goal setting

Do you ever feel guilty when you’re selfish? You know, when you do something just for you?

I did.

If I wasn’t putting my family first, going to bat for my clients 100% and slaving away to make sure that everyone in my ecosystem was ok, then I felt guilty.

This was up until I came to the concept of selfishness through an Irishman called Philip McKernan who runs an intervention called Authentic Goal Setting.

He asked one of his clients what he liked doing. After some time and prompting, the client finally admitted that he liked yachting. But that he didn’t do it anymore.

McKernan asked him if his family minded when he spent time on the yacht. His answer was illuminating. He claimed that there was more harmony in the house because he was in a better mood.

He felt more relaxed, invigorated and centred after a session of yachting. He enjoyed his family more and they him.

McKernan then berated him. He said that he was selfish by not going yachting.

Surely, if it put him in a better mood, made him a better father, a better husband, a better person … surely that’s a good thing?

And, for me that’s the ‘aha moment’. If we give everything to others and leave nothing for ourselves, then we are doomed to be unhappy. And, if we make ourselves unhappy, that’s just being selfish, isn’t it?

Because when we’re happy, it rubs off on those we love and they become happy. So, it’s a win-win all round.

The bottom line is that we need ‘me’ time.

I’ve met so many couples that may as well be joined at the hip because they do everything together. It is almost as if one can’t function without the other, they’re so co-dependent. They become ‘us’ but lose their individual identity in the process.

One of our biggest drivers is the need for significance.

In a relationship environment there’s a lot of ‘us’ and very little ‘me’.

We’ve been brainwashed that if we spend ‘me’ time, we’re being selfish.

But if you buy into McKernan’s concept of selfishness, then being ‘selfish’ is not a bad thing, is it?

Be a bit selfish. Do something that you love. Go fishing. Read a book. Yacht. Have a facial. Hang out with friends. Meditate. Go to gym. Run. Collect stamps. Bake. Hike. Sit. Breathe.

Whatever it is that inspires you, go on, do it. Be selfish and take some ‘me’ time.

What’s the worst that can happen? You may feel happier. Lighter. More centred. Grateful. You may just become a better mommy, daddy, son, daughter, grandfather, grandmother, employee, employer … that can’t ever be a bad thing, can it?

Connect with you next week … I’m off to spend an hour or so at the lake with my fishing rod and maybe catch a Bass or two. And, if I don’t … so what? I’m connecting with me and being selfish.


One Comment on “Be Selfish and don’t feel guilt about it

Anne Joubert
May 6, 2015 at 10:38 am

This is so true. Without ‘me’ time, you don’t recharge or find fulfillment in yourself. Without that you end up feeling empty and always searching for something. Never feeling satisfied with anything. Therefore you won’t have anything to give to others. Be selfish and have a happier life.


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