The Art of Selfishness
Mature selfishness is the cornerstone of effectively living with passion and purpose. A commitment to self- interest is practical and efficient since you are better able to meet your needs than hope that someone else does. It is the basis for the laws of natural selection and "survival of the fittest." Unfortunately, society has given mature selfishness a bad name.
Parents are well intended when they teach their children that selfishness is bad. Infants are primitively selfish and need to learn compromise, delay of gratification, and social interest to deal effectively with others. Yet, there is a continuum from constant, immediate selfishness on one end to always putting other people before you on the other end. Children need to progress from immature selfishness to a more moderate, mature selfishness that incorporates the interest of others. However, teachers, peers, religions, movies, and books continue to send the message that selfishness is wrong; not that it must be moderated.
Mature selfishness naturally guides you to people and situations that encourage pleasure, happiness, and even hedonism. But, you have to give yourself permission to be selfish and to meet your desires for fun and relaxation. This may be difficult if you are overly socialized and base your life almost entirely on caring for others; this has been referred to as "co- dependent." Mature selfishness can also be compromised when you carry within you an overly committed Judeo- Christian work ethic. You may feel extremely guilty or anxious when you are not working out of concern that you are being lazy or that tasks are left undone.
Mature selfishness is a process of managing a hierarchy of desires including short- and long-term activities from sex and amusement parks to retirement planning. You feel passionate about desires that feel deeply personal, important, and urgent which make you intensely committed toward a course of action. Thus, selfishness is the wellspring of passion.
In Stepping Stones: 10 Steps to Seizing Passion and Purpose, (http://www.mysacredjourney.com/bookstore.htm) strategies for enhancing mature selfishness are described. You need to acknowledge to yourself and others that you are committing to healthy selfishness. You may choose to discuss this with your family or friends in a way that provides them some benefit, too. You can practice selfishness by developing a Fun List; this is a list of thirty activities that are fun, whether quietly enjoyable like reading a book or rollicking pleasure like a county fair or whitewater rafting. Over time, you commit to adding items to the list that you can discover through friends, your local newspaper, the Internet, or flyers in the mail.
The Fun list becomes the structure and encouragement for "YOU" to practice fun activities including sensual ones. Sensual literally means "of the senses." Overly socialized, hard working people, especially women, may engage in very little sensual activity. Practicing sensuality, e.g., walking through the woods, attending concerts, or getting a massage can help you break through any self-imposed barriers to pleasure.
It is up to you to decide how to meet your needs and satisfy your desires; not the world that taught you that selfishness is bad and that everybody matters more than you. You are so precious; you deserve to feel happy.
To begin your journey for developing your own mature selfishness, plan to spend three hours every week doing something that only you want to do . . . alone. Then revel in that time and activity that you've chosen. Most importantly, put *your* name in your date book. Remember: start with three hours of selfish time for yourself. Can you do it? Will you do it? It might take your family, partner or co-workers a couple of weeks to get used to the new you, but they will see the positive change in your attitude, your passion, and your commitment to becoming a better you. In the end, they will benefit. So why not start this week?
About The Author
Dr. Tim Sams is the author of Stepping Stones: 10 Steps to Seizing Passion and Purpose; the book is available through his web site: http://www.mysacredjourney.com/bookstore.htm, and at all online bookstores.
Dr. Sams is a University of Michigan graduate who interned at the Long Beach VA Medical Center. He is a diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management and the American College of Forensic Medicine. He originally trained as a medical and health psychologist with specialty training in behavioral medicine, the melding of medicine and psychology, mind and body. Though he had taken dozens of classes in biology, anatomy, and physiology, over time his clinical passion for alleviating physical pain blossomed and he obtained a Master's of Science with emphasis on the medical basis of orthopedic, neurologic, and myofascial pain.
He is a frequent lecturer on pain management throughout the United States. He authored the most comprehensive patient pain manual scheduled for release in June, 2005. He writes a free, biweekly newsletter called Advances in Medicine that you can sign up for on this website.
Dr. Tim is a motivator and a teacher; a caring soul who believes that humor is one of the best weapons against pain; that and really good drugs.
Dr. Tim has multiple offices in Southern California, consulting to a few dozen pain physicians and hundreds of primary care physicians and orthopedic surgeons. He spends one day a week in his office educating patients at http://www.MyPainReliefDoc.com.
He lives and plays in Orange County, California with his wife Lari and his daughter, Leah. He spends most of his non-family free time jogging, swimming, reading, or writing.
Copyright 2004. Dr. Tim Sams. All rights reserved.
Inspiration: Some Things Ive Noticed Along the Way So Far
Let's file this one under the heading of random musings and observations, or what I like to call "things I've noticed along the way so far."
Believe in Yourself!
A near middle-aged man in one of my last workshops had followed his calling for the past decade with unbounded zeal. Alas, his career had never developed into long-term employment but rather, was fraught with numerous set-backs, lay-offs and even dismissals. With five children to feed and his life passion now shelved this man faced depression and desperation.
Thoughts on Loving
Loving. It seems like such a simple concept. But those who have mastered the act of loving are close to non existent. I'm not so much talking about the love between a husband and a wife, a father and a son, or the love between two friends?I'm talking about love in a more general sense. The love that isn't concerned with what it will get in return, for there can be no expectations with this type of love. I'm talking about the love of mankind, the love of people?merely because they are God's, and they deserve to be acknowledged in such a way. The love that I believe Jesus possessed as he walked from town to town, meeting strangers, touching lepers, noticing the unnoticed.
My name is Smarty Jones -- Embracing Gods Glory
Our deepest fear us not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyondmeasure. It is our light, not our darkness, thatmost frightens us?..We are born to manifest theglory of God that is within us?.And as we let ourown light shine, we unconsciously give otherpeople permission to do the same.
Powerful Caretakers - Taking Good Care of Ourselves First
Our community consists of powerful caretakers. We do a great job of assisting and loving those around us. However, many of us fall short when it comes to taking good care of ourselves. We expend our energies giving to our kids, our jobs, our partners, our schedules and more. Then, at the end of the day, we have nothing left for us. If this goes on for too long, we can begin to experience our lives as less than fulfilling.
Ignorance and Fantasy
Are beliefs not often the children of ignorance and fantasy? Consider the heavenly view of the world that young souls entertain at the height of their innocence, when their youth has been surrounded by love and filled with happiness. Hear their laughter. Dreams expand in a vacuity of knowledge like a laughing gas and induce the blindest, the purest joy. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, because it spares us the mental restraints associated with knowledge (which reveals the limits of reality and hence the impossibility of our fantasies). It is the ultimate playground where the mind can build castles in the air, create a wonderland, and live delightedly in this kingdom of reverie. It paves the way for the reign of error, as it leaves us to believe whatever we like. Everything that is desirable is realizable, if not real, until we find evidence to the contrary. Santa Claus eventually dies of our old age ? when we are no longer so young, so green, that we are easily fooled by a tall story.
Maybe Im Amazed at the Way you Love Me all the Time
In Corrogue I am amazed
The Cracked Pot
Letters on Life#3
Heavy Weather Guide
Direct Answers - Column for the week of April 26, 2004
Hope in Humanity
Let us renew our hope in humanity. It's so easy to lose faith when someone cuts us off on the highway, when a 'friend' blows us off (for the second time) and fails to show, when we get burned in a business deal, when a co-worker doesn't do what they said they were going to do, or when a colleague fails to keep their promise, etc.
Are YOU Ready for Bonza Bottler Day?
BONZA BOTTLER DAY is any day when the date and the month have the same number. Bonza, I'm told, means "excellent" or "really great" in Australian, and there's some suggestion that "bottler" means the same.
Look To Trees To Help You Keep Balanced And Focused While Achieving Your Dreams
Do you remember looking up through the branches of a beautiful, leafy tree, on a warm sunny day? How the sunlight filtering through the lush greeness, seemed to take on an almost magical quality?
Naomi and the 5 Life Lessons
Not long ago, I attended a seminar that featuredNaomi Judd, half of the legendary country music duo,The Judds. Naomi, with her talented daughter, Wynonna, set the standard for country music byselling millions of albums, performing to 'sold out' audiences, and winning numerous awards.
Have You Lost Focus?
Looking for a Better World - What Every Person Can Do!
Each night, when I put my head on the pillow and turn my thoughts to things ethereal, I am hopeful that the world is a little better place than when I awoke that morning. I hope that the dissidents, extremists, murderers, plunderers, bigots, philanderers, cheaters, molesters and others of mean-spirit find that their chosen path is not a beneficial avenue. I hope they see that they themselves are not truly benefiting from a mean-spirited philosophy.
The Spectacular You
I recently received a letter addressed to Spectacular Rachelle Lee. At first I thought it was a joke. Who would write such a thing? I then thought maybe it was a mistake. Whatever it was, I knew it did not feel comfortable. It turned out to be an advertisement, for what I am not even sure. What I am sure of is that the way it was addressed caught my attention, and I realized how difficult it can be to own just how spectacular I am.
Why Read Inspirational Quotes?
Maybe you've heard this one:
I stepped up to the edge and looked down. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath... and jumped in head first.
Withstand the Test of Time
As I drove home from work late one wintry afternoon, chilled from the freezing temperatures, I noticed the beautiful trees aligned on both sides of the road. Amongst the evergreens and the pine trees, one tree in particular caught my attention as it majestically stood, with its strong branches extending outward. This tree, bare from the many leaves that had once hung from its branches, daringly saluted the sky. I thought about how this deeply rooted tree stood year after year, withstanding the test of time through the altering seasons. I thought about how this tree stood -- regardless of the many changes brought about by the sultry summers and the chilling winters. Through all of the changes, through the bend of the limbs and the fallen leaves, there it stood -- through the test of time. Many times in your life, you may feel as though you've taken all that you can take -- that you have stood all that you can stand. You may feel like throwing your arms up and just giving up -- simply giving in. My friend, you are where you are today because of your ultimate strength to withstand in the midst of failing relationships, heartbreaks, getting no breaks, of so-called friends becoming your worst enemies. You are where you are today because you withstood all of those changes and many more. You are where you are today because of the many obstacles that you have already successfully surmounted. You are where you are today because you daringly saluted the circumstances, sometimes not even realizing how. The very strength that brought you here, will allow you to withstand your present circumstance. Don't throw in the towel. Don't give up on yourself. Don't give up on life. Just like this majestic tree, it is imperative that you are deeply rooted in your beliefs, in God, and in yourself -- so that when life-altering events come to weaken you, or to make you bend, you will daringly withstand the test of time. Attest today: I will no longer bend to the life-altering events that continuously come my way. I will stand strong, realizing that through my inner strength, and hope in God -- I will be like the majestic tree that withstands the test of time -- for I too -- am strong. Copyright 2003 by Audrina Jones Bunton. REPRINTING THIS ARTICLE: Permission is granted to reproduce or distribute this article only in its entirety and provided copyright is acknowledged. You can find other articles to choose from at http://www.purposefully-living.com/mailing%20list.htm
Dreams and Desires, Wants and Wishes Journals
Have you ever dreamed of a new house? Have you ever wished for the perfect mate? What about wanting that job that you've always dreamed of? Have you wished for a perfect day?
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