Growing up, we are taught to not be selfish. Think of others; put others first; share; treat others how you want to be treated, etc. etc. etc. Truth be told, that is a bunch of BULL MALARKEY (to put it nicely)
Being selfish pays off!!
Please, do not misunderstand me. I am not talking about being center of the universe. I am not talking about being so engulfed in yourself that your head is up your butt. I am not talking about no one else or nothing else matters type of selfish. I am simply meaning that there is a time and a place to be selfish in which it is beneficial.
Allow me to explain…
A few weeks ago, I returned back to the working world after being off on maternity leave. I was very upset having to return back because I so desperately wanted to work from home in order to be a part of my children’s lives. As most working Americans, my company did not offer paid maternity leave. While out, I had to financially depend on JT. I am NOT a big fan of depending on others. So naturally, having to do so, brought my spirits down. At the end of my second week back, I received a SMALL paycheck (it only covered 4 days of work not to mention my insurance increase because I am covering my kids). None the less, I was excited because I now had a little bit of my own money again.
During my lunch break, I ran an office errand. While out, I decided (after having to convince myself) to buy lunch; nothing extravagant, just something a little more than an apple and cubed cheese (yes, that was what I was eating for lunch). While looking at the menu, I easily persuaded myself to not order expensive and stick to simple and basic. That’s when the idea hit me…
PAY IT FORWARD!
I know that the Pay It Forward movement has been ongoing for some time now, but I never considered myself to be in the financial situation to participate. However, for some reason, standing in line, knowing that I had to talk myself into buying myself lunch, then telling myself to stick to cheap, I wanted to treat someone. Though I did not get paid much and I did not have much, I wanted to give a little of the little I had. That “for some reason” being… I wanted to feel good about myself. I needed a boost of positivity. Since the world wasn’t creating it for me, I created it for myself.
Power of Positivity
Having to financially depend on someone, going back to work, not meeting my promote my blog deadline (my own fault for being insecure about it), taking two days off my second week back at work because my 4 year old had the flu, and unsuccessfully finding a sitter for my 2 year old and 3 month old to give my dad a break… all of it had me down and out, struggling to be happy and think positively. I am not the type of person to accept defeat. I always find a way to make situations work, but having all of that all at the same time had me really bummed out. That is why I chose to be SELFISH.
I was SELFISH because I needed to feel POSITIVE.
I needed motivation to get my head back in the game and paying it forward did that for me. I did not pay for someone else’s lunch to help them out or make them feel better. I did it for me. I did it because I knew the gratification I would get from surprising a complete stranger. I had know idea who the person was, what he/she was going through, if he/she had money, didn’t have money. I knew nothing of that person’s life and I didn’t want to know. I knew about me. I knew that I had been having a rough time. And I knew that I was in control of my happiness and state of mind.
We are inadvertently taught young that being selfish is ok.
Positivity is a mind set and it takes hard work to maintain. Read Positivity is a Mind Set, not an Action to see what I mean.
Life does a great job at attempting to discourage me and get me down. Sometimes it succeeds. In those times, my mom’s voice (and I am sure your mother’s voice too) comes in loud and clear—TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED. Think about that statement for a moment. Reread it…treat others how you want to be treated… That statement in itself allows us to be selfish. You aren’t doing something nice for someone just for the sake of being nice. You are doing it because YOU want someone to do something nice for YOU. AND THAT IS A-OK!!! THAT IS PERFECTLY FINE!!! It is ok to be selfish and think about how I would feel should something happen to me or before I do something to someone.
I did not pay it forward and buy someone’s lunch because I wanted someone to by my lunch. I paid it forward because, through my rough time, I found it hard to see the positive side of things and I needed to feel positive again. I paid it forward because I wanted to feel empowered. I wanted to reignite my flame of happiness. And if, by chance, paying it forward did the same for the recipient, FANTASTIC!!! I am even happier, but I will never know. I will settle for what I set out to be my end result: my happiness I created within myself FOR MYSELF!!
I would LOVE to hear from you. Please feel free to comment or reach out to me with your thoughts!
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