My new year resolution for 2010

December 31, 2009 at 8:31 am | Posted in Out of my mind | Leave a comment
My resolution for the new year 2010 (as well as for the new decade) is to be completely SELFISH. When I first thought of it, I was shocked. I am sure you would be when you read it. Probably because all of us are so conditioned to think of selfishness as something evil & to be avoided at all costs. We are told that we should try to be good, selfless and sacrifice for others.
 
But is selfishness really so bad? After all, it only means that we should take care of our interests. Who better than ourselves to take care of our interests; everybody else is busy (whether they admit it or not) taking care of their interests. I have a right as well as responsibility to look after my interests. When I take this stand, I would no more blame somebody else for whatever happens to me. If I want my future to be better than my present (and my past), I have to work at it, make the right decisions and improve my decision making ability. There is no point in wallowing in my sorrows and troubles. Nobody is going to come and solve my problems; I have to pull up my socks and solve them myself.
 
When I started thinking on these lines, it brought about a wonderful sense of freedom. I did’nt have to follow any external commands. I can always listen to my inner voice and trust it to tell me what is in my best interest. As a matter of fact, I am free to even decide what is in my best interest.
 
What is in my best interest? To be in good health so that I have enough energy to do whatever I want. To have enough resources (financial & otherwise) so that I am not constrained in what I wish to do. To know enough people so I can have interesting interactions with them which would help me to learn & grow.
 
Do I have to always take away something from others to have something for me? Does it have to be a zero-sum game? Can I work with somebody else to fight for what both of us believe in? Is there any harm in giving away something to another without any expectation of a return; it might come back to me in a greater measure even without asking for it. Such possibilities do exist. Why not give it a try?
There is an interesting paradox here. When we are forced or force ourselves to be selfless, we end up being selfish in a narrow sense and feel guilty about it. Whereas, if we accept that it is okay to be selfish, have the right & responsibility to look after our interests, the guilt is gone. After the superficial needs are met we tend to move towards our deeper needs. Since we are all connected, we automatically & willingly do things which involve and help others. In the process, we end up doing what was the intention in the first place of being selfless and at the same time feeling good about it.

Isn’t the right choice obvious?

 

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