Selflessness is a moment-by-moment decision. And when you make selfless choices -- when you act selflessly (especially if someone else gratefully notices) -- it's like a protein shake for your soul. You get a boost, you feel good, you're like "Yeah, that's the me I know and love."
This post could be about saint-like actions (or smoothies), but it's not ... at least not on the surface. Instead, it's about digging into the idea of being selfish because selfishness, in small and measured doses, is an elixir that you can't do without.
Three cheers for being selfish, then (not the selfishness of the guy behind the wheel who is texting and driving, or the coworker on the lookout for ways to undermine you, no). Kudos to the selfish that clothes you in armor against the everyday grind, the one that begins even before you take your first sip of Fair-Trade coffee. Navigating the grind requires strength, smarts, stamina and emotional wellness in order to daily make it home without accumulating an abundance of scars.
It's a gauntlet out there, but wholeness is possible and it starts by auditing a few areas of your life:
Consider that a well-rested, well-nourished, emotionally balanced person is likely to be better at selfless giving than somebody who's running on fumes. If a lever large enough to move the world crosses your path, how're you going to wield it if your tank is on E?
You can still be a hero by lighting the candle at one end and letting the other side do its job: a foundation for the light. Give back. But start by first giving yourself a little credit, a daily dose of kindness, and the room to grow into your best self.