Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Oscar Wilde

We all try to be perfect. We criticize ourselves for making mistakes. We “filter” our personalities. We say what we think people want to hear. We try to fit in, to conform.

The worst part of this is we assume other people actually care that much.

The fact is, people are too occupied worrying about their own self to have any time worrying about us. If they gossip about you, it’s actually more a reflection of them than you.

A fact: People are selfish, inward creatures.

I learned about the concept known as “egoism” during my brief 2 year stint in college. This concept states that all individuals only act in their own self-interest. This always stuck with me because it made so much sense, and I now believe it to be an absolute law of human nature.

If a person devotes his or her life to helping those in need, they are doing so because you they choose to do so. They are making the choice because they want to. Whatever they get out of it is what makes them choose—Ergo: selfish.

If you give up your life to save another, you are doing so because you want to do so (selfish). If you are generous, you are generous because you want to (selfish).

Anytime you do anything, you are choosing to do that anything and no matter how “selfless” seeming it is, it is actually a purely selfish endeavor. This is because of choice.

Everything is choice. When you exercise choice, you are exercising self-interest. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, society has a fascination with hero-worship and the need to separate things into good and bad. We like having things simple to understand that also play to our idea of good and bad.

The thing is, it’s all opinion.

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Sometimes we need to be selfish (Photo Credit: Jeff Sheldon)

Now, do I think the world would be a better place if there were more people acting selfishly altruistically? Obviously. I’m sure most of us could agree on that.

The world doesn’t need less selfish people, it needs more selfish people aligning thyself selfishness altruistically.

Think about Bill Gates. Damn what a selfish dude. He will likely go down in history as the most generous man ever. Selfish!!!

We need to all accept the fact that we are all selfish. Then, we need to realize that by working together—which means to put others first at times even if it is disadvantageous to us—we end up benefiting ourselves in the long run. (Again, selfish.)

Like they always say, “To receive you must first give.” Even in this statement there is “selfish” implication.

So, what’s the point to all this? Well, there’s a couple, but the most glaring to me is the fact that we get so upset—and confused—when we suffer at the hands of others “selfish” behavior. I’ve battled this suffering my entire life.

You give and give and give and you expect it to be returned. Then, when it isn’t returned the way you expect, you feel hurt, angry, and even sometimes, start losing faith in humanity.

This suffering stems from a lack of understanding human nature. If we understand that people do things in their own self-interest, and that sometimes this self-interest will not align with others, we are better off.

Those of you that would consider yourselves “generous” will have to accept the fact that your generosity will never be returned tit-for-tat the way it was given. This is a rule of the universe. The same goes for love, relationships, friendships, partners, family, just about everything.

You will always feel like you deserve to be more loved, more thought of, more appreciated, more reciprocated. Unfortunately, you will never fulfill these expectations the way your brain wants them fulfilled (and if by some miracle you find someone that does fulfill them, you should do everything you can to keep that person in your life).

But you can’t let this harden you and change who you are. If you think about it, doing so would make zero sense considering you are generous and giving because you want to be generous and giving. Your generosity is about you and not what you receive in return.

Yes, the world needs more selfishly altruistic people. Do not fret when the world acts selfishly yet not altruistically in your favor. That’s just life.

Selfishly Yours,

-Colin

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