Do you ever wish you could be more selfish? But every time you try to do something unconventional haters start creeping out of the woodwork like there’s a damn termite infestation?
It’s unbelievable. You go largely unnoticed for days, or even years. But, as soon you make your presence known, the haters step up to tell you all of the reasons that whatever you’re doing is a) wrong b) right, but done in the wrong way c) not what they would do or d) all of the above.
But do you know why haters hate? Because then they don’t have to spend any time producing anything themselves. It’s easy to tell you all the ways you’re messing up. It’s hard to go out and not mess up yourself.
That’s why haters hate. Because they’d rather dissect all the reasons you’re going to fail, instead of looking at themselves and seeing why they’re already failing.
I’m so over it.
Learning to Be More Selfish
A little over a year ago I had just found out I was pregnant. I had horrible morning sickness. It wasn’t the good kind where you actually get to throw up. This was more of the feeling you get right before you throw up. All. Day. Long. And as soon as I’d get a reprieve from the nausea, the heartburn would start in.
I had a toddler. And a tween. A dog. And a mortgage.
And, I had a corporate job. I work with mostly men… in the auto industry.
It’s not very glamorous.
You have to do a lot of shmoozing. (Yeah, I said shmoozing.) And I get dirty every day. It’s not the good kind of dirt that smells like the country and sunshine.
It’s the grime of all the cars from all the roads in all the cities everywhere. And it’s on my pants.
I was stuck in middle America. I was supposed to love my life. And I was freaking miserable.
It was then something snapped… or should I say clicked.
It occurred to me that I didn’t have to be miserable. Crazy, I know. But, it really did happen just like that. It was like the constant vurp in the back of my throat was the last straw. I can take a lot, but apparently I draw the line at pukey acid throat? Interesting.
I was at the point of physical illness due to the stress of my job. I realize I was pregnant, but I think my mental state made my pregnancy symptoms worse. And, prior to getting pregnant I had been having some other health issues that I can only attribute to the stress. I was also severely overweight, which I now believe was a symptom of a deeper underlying issue.
Fast forward a lot of reading, research, frustration, and tears, I realized the solution to every single one of my problems could be solved if I just did what I want.
You Mean You Literally Did What You Want?
That’s exactly what I mean. I stopped telling myself no. And started saying yes to fun. I allowed myself to believe I could do whatever I wanted. Somewhere among college, careers, weddings, and babies, I forgot that I used to believe that.
Fast forward again, and I realized a huge part of my problem was that I didn’t feel like my life had any value. Sure, I was a mom and a wife. But big deal. Everybody does that. Other than that, there was nothing. I was boring. I was bored. And I was every mother’s worst nightmare. Wasted potential.
A lot more reading, research, and frustration, and a few less tears later, I had a crazy idea. I wanted to start a social movement. It started as a tiny little thought, quickly whisked away before I even knew it was there. But then it would come back. Each time a little bigger.
And it kept gnawing at me. The whole time I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I was fighting off this thing that had a crazy hold on me. But I ignored it, thinking I might like this or that other thing.
But it kept up. And when I finally let myself think about it, it was so obvious. This thing I had been ignoring for months was exactly what I had been searching for.
People are meant to do what they want. We are meant to be selfish. I believe that if we all just do what we want a little bit more, the world would be a happier place.
What About Your Kids and Your Family?
I don’t believe that being selfish is a bad thing. I think most people do what they do out of a sense of obligation. We tell ourselves lies about it, so we don’t go crazy. Things like, “I’m lucky to spend 2 hours a night with my kids before they to go to bed and spend all day tomorrow with someone else.” Except it doesn’t sound like that. It sounds more like “I have a great job. It’s a 9 to 5er so I’m home with my kids at night.”
If you look at it this way, if I was more selfish, I could do anything – including spend time with my kids whenever I want. Not just in the designated witching hour between way too tired and bedtime.
My selfishness actually benefits my children. And my husband. Because when I’m happier, we’re happier. I’m a better mom, and a better wife, because I started being selfish.
I stopped being martyr mom. I took up a hobby (glass blowing if you must know… a work in progress). I let my husband handle baby duty and I went and played with hot glass. And I didn’t care that the kids were sometimes screaming. And I stopped giving a shit if they had pb&j for dinner if I was gone.
I did a lot more reading. And spent a lot of time by myself. And I kept thinking about this social movement.
What if everybody just started doing what they want. What would happen? It seems, a lot of our biggest problems would work themselves out and we would all be a ton happier.
Are You For Real?
Yes. I knew I wanted to help people. I think on some level, that’s all any of us want. And, helping people in the best way we know how is the best way to give value and in return, be valued. So, I started helping people.
The reason most people don’t have what they want is because they’re not taking active steps to get what they want. Everybody is waiting for the one day they have ‘enough’ to be happy but they’re not doing anything to get it… or even define it.
I started helping people define it. And then I helped them take action on the specific steps necessary to get there. I’m really good at this because I have a natural ability to see grey when everyone else sees black and white. And black and white when everyone else sees grey. I help people gain clarity when they’re lost. And I help them see between the lines when they’re stuck.
So, you see – I started being selfish, and that allowed me to discover what I am truly meant to do. The best part about this is that I am using the best of me, to help people be the best they can be. And then they can go out and do the same thing. How awesome is that?
How many of us can say that we put 100% of our effort into the work we do every day?… not because we have to, but because we can’t not do it. I think if more of us did this, our communities would be packed full of energy, health, happiness, and an abundance of wealth. And this would create a positive change around us.
What Is This Social Movement All About?
I believe we should all be more selfish. Stop saying no to all your best ideas. Do what you want. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you it’s okay. Do it now. And do it like you mean it.
Take a risk. Get your feet wet. Get scared. Get over it. Be better.
Everyone is good at something. Everyone has something they can offer someone else. Use the best of you, to help other people be the best they can be. Creative positive change.
Be more selfish.
How Do I Get Involved?
Share it with your friends. Like it on Facebook. Tweet it. Pin the comics. Send an email to a friend. Or even better, send it to an enemy. Maybe they need to be told it’s okay to be a little more selfish too.
Want to get involved further? Start a conversation in the comments. Connect with someone who is struggling with the same things you are. Offer advice when you have relevant experience. Listen when you don’t.
You really can do whatever you want. Start right now. What do you want to do? Go do it. Then figure out how you can use that to help someone else. Together we can create a ripple effect of positive change across our communities.
But What Does This Have to do With Haters?
True to form, a good social movement doesn’t come without a catch. Here’s the deal. Any time you decide to take a stand and do something different, you will have haters.
People will tell you that you’re wrong. They will tell you you’re too opinionated. They will say you are wasting your time. They’ll tell you to be more conventional. They’ll tell you that it’s not the right time for you to try something so risky.
They’ll tell you to be like them.
Don’t do it. Give the best of you, so other people can give the best of them. Be more selfish.