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In this episode Joel and Antonia challenge the assumption that selfishness is wrong.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • We are born to very different people than we die around.
  • The one person we have throughout our entire life experience is us.
  • Through life, we are told the message repeatedly, “Don’t be selfish. Stop being self-centered. Stop living for yourself. Live for others.”
  • Why is it wrong to care about our needs?
  • If you didn’t have to consider all of your preconceived notions about selfishness, would you find it so wrong to give priority to your needs?
  • Is Selfishness following our self-interests and pursuing the things that make us happy at the cost of others?
  • We only have this life and this moment. We can only experience our emotions at the moment.
  • We are always selfish because we only have our subjective experience with which to interact.
  • Even when we are doing things for other people, we get a joyful hit.
  • Or we may do something for someone else in the hopes that they will like us.
  • Everything we do is primarily about self-interest.
  • What is the best way to be selfish?
  • Selfishness is: I want myself to live more than anybody else.
  • Six people in a five-man life raft. Who gets out? Do you volunteer?
  • We have a word for someone who is willing to sacrifice self for others – Hero.
  • We admire heroes because they are rare.
  • We link our individual survival with the survival of the species.
  • Simone de Beauvoir Existentialism – “Ethics of Ambiguity.”
  • How do you live a life of meaning if you have no intrinsically built in meaning or purpose?
  • Why would you ever do anything ethically or morally if there is no meaning?
  • Ambiguity is the concept that we are subjects to ourselves and we are objects to everyone else.
  • It’s the tension between the two – ourselves and others – and the obligation we have toward them/us which creates all of our ethical implications.
  • We are going to have a preference for our experience.
  • We can’t enjoy an optimized experience unless those around us are having the same experience.
  • Many of us raised in a religious paradigm got the message that God comes first, then others. You are the last on the list.
  • In an airplane, you are told to put on your own oxygen mask first.
  • When you are very young, you don’t understand that other people are different from you.  
  • Theory of Mind
  • Selfishness is innate.
  • When paradigms/parents say, “Don’t be selfish,” it may be a developmental strategy to keep people from doing damage. It helps children realize that there are other people to consider.
  • If you are doing all the giving and no one else is doing the same for you, it is time you start considering your needs too.
  • It’s insidious when someone tells you you’re selfish for having a particular emotion or need. They want you to have the same emotions/needs that they do.
  • Have you ever been accused of being selfish for transcending a negative paradigm, emotion, meme, or lifestyle?
  • Isn’t it selfish for others to demand that you stay the same to maintain their comfort level?
  • A willingness to be self-centered plus the desire to be the best version of yourself creates a powerful combination.
  • This world is dying for leadership.
  • If you are at all resisting a belief structure, you will never have the effect you want.
  • If you are in alignment with a belief structure, you can have a lot of leadership power within that belief structure.
  • If you hand your power over to others, your effect will be mitigated. You have allowed yourself to be an object to their subjectiveness.
  • You are seeking approval, so it is selfishness, but it is a low vibration expression of selfishness.
  • Low vibration selfishness that merely seeks approval from others is transitory and immediate.
  • High vibration selfishness – seeking the things that are important to you – brings your best gifts to the world.
  • High vibration selfishness doesn’t appear as selfishness.
  • Sometimes we can open our minds by selfishly rejecting the mindsets with which we were programmed.
  • If you find a mission, you have to be selfish by crafting your entire life around getting that mission accomplished.
  • The cost of specialization means you focus on one mission at a time to the expense of everybody else’s mission.
  • If you are the type of person who gives away your emotions to someone else, give yourself the permission to be more selfish with your emotions. Protect your positive emotions. Don’t allow others to take them away from you.

 

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Showing 4 comments
  • Deepali Afzal
    Reply

    Hi Antonia and Joel, I can’t express enough how much you guys have made a difference in my life and how much I appreciate and respect you and your work. Thank you.
    In this episode, I felt further more permission to be ok with myself and not feel as guilty. Ever since I’ve brought you into my life, I just feel more assertive and more complete. I set boundaries that have helped me to get my needs met along with getting other’s needs met as well. I just feel more healthier mentally and empowered.

    What struck me in this episode is how you mentioned “perspectiving”, as I’m an INFJ, this totally resonated with me and made me realize for sure on how most people don’t do that on a 24/7 level and don’t feel guilty because they DON’T know or care for the other’s perspective. This keeps coming up no matter how much personal growth stuff I do. I can’t help but see the other person’s perspective, their background, past, present and heck entire life. This just makes it so hard to be selfish (in context of the topic).

    In this podcast, however, you really clean sliced the concept of selfishness and I’m taking it in like white on rice. I love it. Every word you say makes so much sense. Thank you again and again. I wish you guys all the best for eternity.

    Kindest Regards
    Deepali

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Deepali! It is nice to hear from you. 🙂

  • kay
    Reply

    so weird but this was a ‘Friends’ episode, where Phoebe made the point that all acts are selfish, even the altruistic ones.

    But yes this was such a resonant episode for me. i used to be very giving and give of myself to everyone around me until one day i found myself drained and frustrated because no one was giving me back the same thing. so i decided to be selfish and put myself first, because no one else was going to look after me, and i came to the conclusion that you need to put yourself first in other to be in the best position to show up for others. however, now i struggle with whether ive gone too much to the other side and have become defensively selfish with my emotions and quite self-focused.

    im now trying to find the balance between being selfish and taking care of myself and selfish where i dont consider others who love me and care for me as much as i should

    but yh ive had this discussion so many times, but i dont know how to find this balance. i do think selfishness is a survival instinct. man would not have lasted this long without being selfish but at the same time, we are social creatures and need to look out for our fellow man. so yh its a balance i guess

  • sbirella
    Reply

    If you’re Christian you’ll recognize that Christ said the greatest of all commandments is to love God first, and I believe that’s shown by serving others. If others follow this, you are served by them too. The second great commandment is to love your neighbor (everybody else) as yourself. What this means to me is that what you do benefits everyone, even you. If it means taking a much-needed break yourself, or saying no to someone instead of martyrdom, it ultimately benefits everyone. If you prioritize according to your core principles, these boundaries become clearer. As a mom, this can become mushy, but what we teach continues on, so it’s good to set it straight initially so the next generations aren’t needless martyrs to everyone else.

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