Putting the “Self” in “SELFISH”
After taking an unintentional hiatus from my blog, I am back to writing and slowly starting to feel like myself again. I am 100% guilty and admit that for the past few weeks I have allowed my work demands to engulf my life. Working longer hours than ever before and spreading myself too thin. Thin enough to acknowledge to my family that I’m still alive and kicking but bleak enough to not have a personality to put to my permanently exhausted face. However this brought about the most valuable lesson for me: Start paying attention to ME!!
I had no idea how to juggle work demands, regulate inner peace and still be creatively stimulated and inspired. It took a lot of introspection to realise that what I truly want and what I’m actually spending my time on have no correlation what so ever.
Here’s what I have learnt:
• The Authenticity Paradox – The ability to adhere to one’s true self. Being true to yourself despite all odds is never easy and sometimes near impossible. Society teaches us a certain way to live, to love, to rejoice and to think. Nobody ever really knows the real YOU and to some extent that’s okay. You spend everyday amending your behaviour and thoughts to suit those around you. To fit in. Yes you would prefer to hit everyone in the face who annoyed you or said something that had you question their very existence on this earth but nobody dare act on it. We all have to learn to behave and to think in a socially acceptable manner. We are all here to serve a certain purpose and to bring a unique flare to the table. However, you become inauthentic the moment you lose yourself by trying to please others. We tend to build resilience by adapting to the challenges we face when we try to be ourselves in world that demands from us, but to what extent? The best way to recognize this is by asking yourself, honestly, if I do this am I betraying myself? Is this going against what I want as a reflection of myself? Is this getting me closer to the life I want and the mark I want to make in the world? Let your answer guide you.
Passion Vs Responsibility – Passion in life is assumed to be a luxury. If someone had to tell you that they are living out their passion and dream everyday , your immediate response is “well you’re lucky”. It’s a norm in life to be somewhat miserable or just content with your 9 to 5 job as it pays the bills and gets you by. Mediocrity is what it is. Not to mention sad. Truth be told though not many people know what their passion is and where it lies. Being responsible doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to live your true passion and make an income of it. Some of the most successful beings in the world have passion based careers. They just refused to be consumed with fear, doubt and perception. Benjamin Franklin once said “ If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins”. Reason is a choice. Choose to believe in yourself, in your purpose to lead the way for others to do the same. It didn’t take me long to realise that how I spent my last few weeks were sorely responsibility based. Passion eluded me. This was undoubtedly my own fault. I slowly came back to myself and reignited my own passion by paying attention to what attracted my curiosity most. It always came down to the same thing, the way others think and engaging with them to see the light come back into their eyes.
All in all, I don’t regret spending my last few weeks the way I did as it gave me a better perspective. The time has come for me and you to start being more selfish. Start doing what matters to reignite the voice in you that you have silenced.
My five simple ways to bring about the self in selfish :
• Spend a reasonable time alone – Allow for a time in each day that’s dedicated to you. Let your thoughts indicate to you what’s truly bothering you and find the ways to deal with it with a bit of reflection and introspection. Quiet alone time also allows for creative inspiration as your mind becomes clearer. Spend your alone time however you wish but try to keep it noise free.
• Have gratitude – Do not feel bad or undeserving for all that you have in life and all that you will have in future. Be thankful and acknowledge all you have, this puts you in a state of harmony and creates peace. Allowing you to be open to attract so much more.
• Find meaning in what you do – If your reason for doing things is based on social obligation then you need to start cutting out what no longer serves you. Your time is limited. You were not made to simply please others. If you can’t find a good enough reason for spending your time on something then you need to re-evaluate how your time is spent.
• Develop yourself – Self development is your first step to finding true happiness. Find a new hobby or do the thing you always wanted to but never had the time to try. Experiment with recipes, learn a new language, try a daring sport and learn yoga. Develop the mind, enhance the soul.
• BE YOU – Honour yourself and your truth. Try to align your core beliefs and values with your life. If you are not aspiring everyday to be the best version of yourself, you cannot have expectations to be treated like you are. Put yourself first and you become your greatest asset. Become authentically YOU, let your cup runneth over. Be so fulfilled and content that you can help others without disenabling yourself.
“ I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier” – Oprah Winfrey. Like Oprah says, you have no idea what your true authentic self can do for your life. Be brave in the pursuit of learning and discovering the real you. The time is now, time to change your whole world by simply paying yourself more attention.