Success & Prosperity Blog

Food for Thought on Selfishness

By Randy Gage in Prosperity.

Predictably, the last post rankled some, shocked others and gave some serious food for thought.  And I’ll admit to using some language designed to create exactly those reactions.  Because it’s an important issue that creates a lot of problems, for millions of people.

Of course I hope you help the less fortunate, have compassion for others, and serve the greater good.  But when you spend so much time trying to make other people happy that you neglect your own happiness, you’re on a very slippery slope.  Or more specifically, when you’re trying to supply everyone else’s’ needs and neglect your own.

Certainly a parent will sometimes (read that as oftentimes!) make sacrifices for their children.  And you’ll do the same thing from time to time for someone you love.  But if you continually subjugate your own needs for others, that is certainly depravity.

Don’t ever give up on your own dreams for someone else.  There is nothing noble, spiritual or good about that.  And someone that truly loves you would never ask you to do that.

For you guys that haven’t read, The Virtue of Selfishness, you’re at a serious disadvantage here and may not be able to discuss this at the intellectual level required.  Because we’re actually dealing with much bigger issues here than “being good” or “serving others.”  Or (pun intended) God forbid, “serving God.”

What we’re really talking about here, is co-dependency, worthiness issues, and more importantly, living your life by a congruent philosophy.

I’m selfish.  And I hope you are too.  So here’s the real question for you:  If everyone were selfish, what kind of world would this be?  Please check in with your thoughts below, and we’ll pick up there on the next post.

-RG

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63 thoughts on “Food for Thought on Selfishness

  1. Olga says:

    Great point, here’s the thing thought, those that are co-dependent don’t realize they are most don’t even know what codependency is.

    Sometimes it takes a wake up call:)

  2. If I don’t step outside the Matrix of our US culture of every month holiday and birthday celebrations and be selfish I will never truly gain true abundance and prosperity. Therefore I would be limited by my physical ability to help no more than a few within my inner circle. The more you give, the more you will receive, thus I must be SELFISH from time to time in order for personal growth to have the capacity to give more.

  3. rene says:

    I think the word selfishness is very misunderstood. Anything we do is selfish. Anything. If you give flowers to your partner, you might think you do it to please her but when you pay attention you will see that if your partner does not REWARD you (a smile, a kiss, a thank you), you will stop giving flowers. If you take care of your child you do it because you get REWARDED by not having to worry, because of your child loving you, because your child stops crying, etc.

    Just pay attention: Anything you do is because you expect a reward of some sort. If the reward stops coming, you stop doing it.
    So maybe you should look whether the reward you are looking for is something worthwhile. Or is it something that you might be addicted to, something that harms you in the long run, something you are not even aware of that you want to be rewarded with (and you maybe don’t even want to be rewarded with).

  4. Rosa Muziotti says:

    Interesting post.
    Many people are approaching life from the flawed premise…”I need someone who makes me feel happy” and they believe “my happiness depends on someone outside me”. However, each individual creates his/her reality through thoughts, feelings and actions y no one else outside can do it.

  5. Lene Hansen says:

    I think this sentence says everything: Don’t ever give up on your own dreams for someone else. There is nothing noble, spiritual or good about that. And someone that truly loves you would never ask you to do that.

    Yes I’m selfish, now more than ever. It has not been like that earlier in my life. I’m mooving to Copenhagen now as I have a quite big network there. When I did my personal development training there, I helped a lot of people, and I helped a lot. So when I started to ask for help with a place to live, businessdeals, help for my own personal development, all dors opened, and the answer was: “You, you helped me so much, so you will get all the help, work, place to live, that you need, no problem. So what I’m trying to say with this is, that sometimes you do not “harvest” at once. Healthy help will return to you in a good way! I was actually quite touched by this.
    And I totally agree, that you should not sacrifice yourself for others.
    Great post Randy!
    Lene

  6. Annie says:

    Before I write anything about this topic, which I love. I have to say that I feel you sadly underestimate the intelligence of this blog community, if you do not feel we can keep up with this discussion without reading Rand. Randy, Randy, Randy and Randy. My teeth are clenched today.

    All one has to do is google Rand, and read her philosophy it is not that difficult to comprehend. Or are you just hoping we will all run out and read her book? I have not read her books, but have read about her life, that was probably far more illuminating as to just how well her philosophy works. I still want to read her books, and I think she has some really interesting and accurate perceptions, but some big downfalls as well.

    Please do not be so patronizing, I think everyone here is going to be able to keep up.

    If everyone were selfish in the sense that they took very good care of themselves and loved themselves it would be quite a wonderful world. Because if you can love yourself you can love anyone.

    But first, one must have empathy, forgiveness, and compassion towards their own light and darkness. That is not easy. Many may think they have this down, but I really am not so sure.

    If you really love all of yourself for all your flaws and all you will see your own neediness and dependence. We all need each other and sometimes we are broken and need help. Help and love without strings. Help from someone who knows not what kind of value we may later add. Just love, mercy and help. It is the most painful realization for those of us afraid of intimacy with another, because if we have not truly felt our own neediness we will always be uncomfortable giving and recieving real selfless love. All we need is Love, not just from ourselves, but also from others.

    1. Randy Gage says:

      Can the regular contributors keep up? Yes, no problem. But we get hundreds of casual and first time readers every day because of people sharing through social media and many of them would do good to get a strong dose of Rand.

      -RG

      1. Annie says:

        A good strong dose of Rand. I love that. I am taking her in small doses if you don’t mind. I like her though, she is a strong independent intelligent woman.

        We are also talking about existentialism you know. I love the exisentialists. You would really like the play “No Exit”. (And I know where and from whom you get the “herd mentality” or “herd morality”.)

        I only have one thing left to say about selfishness, remember to figure in that fulfilling the basic needs of others is self serving. Because, happy healthy educated people make for a better world.

        1. Annie says:

          While we are talking about codependents so much, what about those counterdependent folks?

      2. Tom Mrak says:

        Randy Gage.com is brought to you by Rand Flakes.

        Rand Flakes-

        The Rational Cereal

  7. mo says:

    I truly still have never met anyone who has prosperity in their life without thinking of their own good.If you look around, you will see that the people who care most about others, they have TIME and SPACE to care about themselfes too.And to only care about one self,how fun would that be…

  8. Wuillians Peñaloza says:

    Pienso que las personas que señalan el Egoísmo como si fuera un pecado, simplemente no entiende el trasfondo de todo el asunto. Sabemos que hay que dar para recibir, pero no ser el regalo!

    Mi primer amigo debo ser yo, porque sino estoy bien conmigo, como puedo estar bien contigo? no tiene sentido… Soy Egoista y que?

    Si todos fuéramos egoístas, abría una revolución sin precedentes en el nivel de auto-amor propio, tan grande, que nos llevaria a cambios colosales!

  9. Annie says:

    I keep thinking about this post, and I really do love it. So, I can’t stay mad at you Randy.

    I can’t right now, I don’t have time, but I want to tell my funny and unfunny codependent story. I come from a large Irish Catholic alcoholic family and I think we practically invented codependency. But later.

  10. hilary says:

    Last year a friend of mine did something that provoked quite a reaction in me – he was driving and looking in the rear view mirror he kissed his fingers which he then placed on his cheek with a big smile and a passionate “I love me, I am amazing” declaration. Born and bred in Ireland where it’s all about everyone else I was shocked! I could not forget this especially as a close girlfriend of mine did the same thing about 2 months later with a totally committed ” je m’adore” declaration of independance. Neither of these people needed others peoples compliments or approval. Second time round I took this as a sign – what was I waiting for to do the same thing? I claimed the gift immediately. And to add appreciation to healing ( a positve persons take on the expression insult to injury ) I heard someone remark recently how, many people get up in the morning and complain about the extra wrinkle, pound or two, or the grey hair they see in the mirror, instead of celebrating that beautiful miracle of life that greets them every morning. Every morning when I get up now, I kiss the person in the mirror,tell her she is beautiful,and how much I love her. If that sounds narcissistic to you, try it and see for yourself. Beats vitamins hands down!

    1. Randy Gage says:

      I love this! Powerful programming for your subconscious mind.

      -RG

  11. Mary-Ellen says:

    This was such a huge challenge for me to overcome. Finding balance between giving to others and giving to myself. I had to learn that what I was taught about being selfish was not true. I think we have all, at times, been selfish at the expense of others, which is where most of us understand selfishness to be. What I have learned is that selfishness does not have to be at the expense of others, it’s a choice. I choose to see myself as selfish these days in a good way. I can’t give what I don’t have and if I don’t love myself then I am not capable of truly loving others. When I studied my behavior in the past relative to this, I realized that my selfishness was based on my beliefs about lack. I even went so far as to be selfish to gain acceptance. Thankfully I have learned, by indentifying the root cause of my behavior that, like so many beliefs we do not immediatly recognize, they are self sabatoging. I love taking care of me, accepting all the flaws. Now I am able to truly give in the manner intended.

  12. Jonathan says:

    There’s little doubt in my mind that lack of self esteem is one of the most widespread behaviors of all. And with this comes the lack of looking out for ourselves before others. This is a fundamental error in behavior and since I have been party to this for many years, I know of what I speak.

    By definition, selfish is to hold our own happiness above those of others, rather than catering to them because we’ve been told it’s ‘right’. What’s really right is for each of us individually to live a life of Joy, Love, Abundance and Prosperity which then gives us the ability to give more. The problem that I see is that many of us will give more to others robbing ourselves of the Joy and Happiness knowing that we have served. But who have we served?

    I have learned to draw the line. And as I said on the last blog, loving ourselves is critical if we are to love others. The same goes for insuring our own happiness FIRST and foremost. Thanks Randy!

  13. Hi RG,

    If each person in the world were more selfish in the area of improving themselves and their lives, the world would improve dramatically.

    Millions of people are out there, trying to look out for others before finding themselves. Naturally, they offer substandard or downright terrible advice and influence others in a negative manner because they haven’t been selfish and tended their own shop.

    More great food for thought here 😉

    RB

  14. Tom Mrak says:

    Meanwhile, on the Rand Planet…

    There would be a lot less depression, failing marriages, and ill health.

    Life would be more about living than preparing to die.

    People would be a lot more focused on growing themselves, instead of just for a particular job, person, or organization.

    The distance between the “1st World”, “3rd World”, and rich, and poor would be less, as there would be more opportunity provided by people doing awesome things, and trading as human beings, not Master and Slave.

    Government really would be of the People, rather than catering to special interests, a people focused on truly pursuing their own Happiness.

    Education would be more about enrichment, than a measuring stick or gate-keeping method. There would be other opportunity available for those who wish to be bolder.

    People would be able to resolve conflict more rationally, instead of resorting to manipulation.

    More people would express themselves through art.

    There would be some great products and services that would benefit, or at least entertain people while making people the profits which enable them to live rich and continue the value cycle.

    1. Randy Gage says:

      After all this, I don’t know what I need to write on the next post! Great job.
      -RG

      1. Tom Mrak says:

        Thanks Randy.

        My shifts in thinking wouldn’t be possible without learning from people like you and other “crazy” people.

        I have an idea.

        Why don’t get we come up with ways to make it happen?

  15. Annie says:

    Okay, I know that all you casual readers are at an intellectual disadvantage, so I will write slow so you can understand. 🙂

    I was raised to be someone else entirely, a someone who only takes care of other’s needs in order to be loveable. At the same time, I have to say I had a sister who was raised in the same home, and would have none of it. Personalities do make a difference. To this day my big sis has no problem taking care of herself and telling others to go jump, when necessary. Which, thankfully saved my life many times on the school bus.

    I on the other hand am a sensitive sweet person who likes to please others. 🙂 Right Randy? Really. At age 5 I told my Kindergarten teacher on career day I wanted to be nun. She called my mother very worried. Of course it was a small town, and we were the only Catholics around and we had come from the city, so I think we may have just frightened many of those people in general.

    When I graduated college I went on to volunteer with the Catholic Church because I thought I still might want to be a nun and save the world. Unfortunately, I learned it is fairly difficult to save the world, at least by teaching kindergarten. Also, my roomates were two very handsome men from the Czech Republic. So, I decided to give up thoughts of being a nun and entertain other thoughts instead.

    Okay, this is getting long. So, I still tried many times to save the world and never took very good care of myself. Years and years went by and are still going by quite honestly, they don’t stop. Anyway, just the other day I took my save the world badge off. But, I am sure I will still try from time to time. It is nice not to have to live with the burden of feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. And I don’t need to take care of anyone but me to be loveable and loving.

    1. Annie says:

      You know I wrote that and it is about a particular psychological deficit that has nothing to do with Ayn Rand’s version of “Selfishness”.

      This is a slippery slope conversation and honestly, I feel I have to say I do not at all agree with the idea of selfishness as the panacea to codependency or all the other evils of the universe.

      I am afraid of taking responsibility for myself because I don’t believe I can do it. I also didn’t think I was loveable enough just as I was. Being selfish doesn’t change these problems or solve them. Selfishness no matter how Rand describes it is be more concerned for oneself than others.

      In truth, the more independent and able to ask for what I need and the more independent and self sufficient I become the less selfish I am. Codependency is using others to meet our needs because we don’t know how to get our emotional, physical needs met ourselves. So it is a symbiotic relationship where two people are dependent on the other to fill fulfilled. It is using others as a tool and not seeing them as an individual. That is selfish.

      I think then that I have to conclude it is in a codependents best interest to be less selfish and more selfless.

      Selfishness is not the right word here, that is why it is so confusing. When I write I just have to take care of me to be loveable, it is not at all to say I should not be taking care of others. It means in a romantic or friendship relation I don’t have to worry that I am useful for the other person to love me. Because none of us are useful all the times, sometimes we are sick or out of commission for some other reason. But we still are loveable. Even then.

      Ayn Rand misuses selfish and so are you Randy. You are selfish. You are selfish if you don’t see that not everyone is as able as you. That there are those who will never be able to pursue there self intrests without the help of others. In fact, no one will be able to live or survive without occassionally being helped by another’s altruism. Altruism isn’t bad and selfishness is, no matter how you change their definitions.

      Selfishness and unchecked self-interest destroyed Capitialism. Capitialism failed here in America. It failed to work, we just have to think about why.

      Empathy and compassion are our moral imperatives. Nothing else. If you have those you don’t have to worry about codependency, Ayn Rand, or anything else.

      You are in my opinion lacking in these areas Randy. I wish you were not. The message to not sacrafice your own happiness at the expense of others is true. You have ruined it once again though by confusion and delyay (Thomas the Tank). Be Honest. Be Positive.

      Your comments about the looting in Japan whether you realised it or not were racist. Your comments on this post were condescending and patronizing. I am dissapointed. I don’t care how much money you give away or how many charitable causes you contribute to. You haven’t any real idea about empathy or compassion. Why? Again it is what I see. And believe me I want so to see something else.

      Can you help others and not be able to help yourself? Yeah you can. That premise does not really fit either.

      We need each other. We need to be less selfish it is in our best self interest to do so.

      We will fail as a nation if something isn’t done to help people gain access to health care. We will fail as a nation if we do not do something to make sure all children are getting the best education. We will fail as a nation if we do not have equal oppurtinity for all. We will fail if we continue with the kind of soft biggotry you displayed on this blog. We are our brother’s keeper as well as our own.

      I am not sorry, if I have offended anyone. These are my beliefs. You can call me the darkness or a drama queen or whatever, but my name is Annie and this is what I believe.

      PS If you want to write about codependency write about codependency, don’t confuse the issue with your political beliefs.

      1. Tom Mrak says:

        Annie,

        Some of what I say is going to be controversial.

        I understand some of where you are coming from, and I don’t think you are a drama queen.

        Part of what you are feeling is you are questioning your beliefs, and what people tell you, which is scary, but I am glad you are doing so.

        I am a sensitive artist type, and I don’t like to see people hurt or suffer either, but we can not help people by just giving them fish; we must teach them to fish. People can only become the best version of who they are. They cannot become someone they are not.

        A very wise bearded man once said something about fishing, and he had other good things to say, along with a chubby bald guy from India who used to be a prince. I just don’t agree with their followers.

        This is where education and charity do fail: we just give people resources or knowledge- we don’t teach them how to use it, and when we do, it is usually outdated methods or not enough to prepare them adequately.

        Most of our institutions are designed around breaking people down instead of building them up, creating ever-growing levels of hoops to leap through.

        It is system designed around telling people no. A system designed out of fear, power, and control which only continues to exist not because of the powerful but because too many people give up their own power.

        Each and every single person in society except for children, who have no voice are responsible for what the world becomes, not just one person or a group.

        Here are some ways that even with the little power you believe you have, you can do something to Move the World.

        Complain about the lack of quality products?

        Stop buying cheap crap, and spend more to get something that will last or that you actually enjoy.

        Quit whining about the upfront costs and think about the lifetime costs of the product.

        It goes beyond the sticker price.

        You hate Walmart?

        Stop shopping there.

        You do have choices, even if Walmart is the only big retailer in your area. You have local shops, and there are thousands of online companies and catalogs.

        Don’t like elected officials?

        Vote, get involved, advocate for a cause, run for office yourself.

        The government is supposed to be afraid of people, not the other way around.

        Tired of the crap on the radio?

        Make your own stuff, get it on Youtube, etc. Support local artists, promote them, buy their stuff, etc.

        None of this will change if people depend on someone else to fix it. People, of their own volition, not force, need to work together, not depend on a group.

        Groups of more than a few people rarely accomplish things well.

        Why do you think governments and corporations only have a small group of people at the top making decisions?

        Social position does not make one a leader by default.

        Capitalism is a system.

        It has failed because of government intervention, and the system is not to blame, but rather the participants of the system.

        When your computer gets a virus or can’t connect to the Internet, do you blame the CPU and the memory for the virus? Doubtful.

        Money has no good or evil either, and neither does technology. Both can be used for either.

        These giant conglomerates with monopolies and the power to abuse the legal system, they only have that power because some government official or agency gave it to them. Read about history, and you will see this.

        As for Rand, I don’t agree with her 100% She, like all of us was product of her experiences and a specific time in history.

        At least give her a read; you don’t have to agree with some or all of it.

        http://www.aynrand.org

        “Why do you use the word “selfishness” to denote virtuous qualities of character, when that word antagonizes so many people to whom it does not mean the things you mean?”

        “For the reason that makes you afraid of it.”

        -Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

        You must do the things you think you cannot do.
        Eleanor Roosevelt

        (For me, this is do crazy electronic music stuff in interesting ways. )

        What do you think you can’t do?

        1. Victoria Crowley says:

          Hi Tom,

          You wrote that Capitalism failed. What do you mean by that?

          Victoria 🙂

          1. Tom Mrak says:

            What I meant is we no longer have a free market economy.

            I should have clarified.

          2. Victoria Crowley says:

            Tom,

            I am confused…

            Are you sure that in United States government controls prices of goods, distribution of goods and production of goods?

            What than is this private ownership and production of goods based on supply and demand?

            Who owns Microsoft, Dell, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Target, Disney, Sprint, Verizon, etc.? Who prices goods and what is that price based on? Who creates variety of products? You know….different brands of everything that you buy? Government? I don’t think so….Could it be the product of Capitalists?….

            Let me introduce you to Government Controlled Market of former Soviet Union.

            Imagine standing in endless line in front of a store not knowing what the government is selling…. It could be salami or boots… No one knew….
            Would there be enough for everyone in line?… No one knew that either….

            Now imagine entering a supermarket. In the first endless row you see butter of the same brand… In the second endless row you see condensed milk of the same brand…There is also plenty of Castile soap and some toothpaste…Forget about toilet paper, that’s what newspapers are for…
            Imagine a supermarket in America after a hurricane….

            Basically all you see is what you don’t need. Forget about what you want…, it does not exist.

            Say you saved enough money for a car….Well, hence government production is somewhat slow, you’ll have to wait for 10 years… Yes, 10 years! Can you imagine that?…

            So, are you sure that free market, as well as free enterprise is not part of American economy?

            Victoria

        2. Annie says:

          Tom I so appreciate your post. You are a darn good writer! I agree with almost all you say. I will give Ayn Rand a chance.

          I think Capitalism failed for a lot of reasons. Including, but not exclusive to what you wrote about. Ayn Rand even said true capitalism would not infringe on anyone’s rights or have a system of cruel oppression. Well, oops for America. Democracy and Capitalism can work together, but we haven’t done it completely yet. Not to say America hasn’t done great things it definitly has. We have also done horrible things.

          I think moderation is the key to most things. Capitalism and Democracy are best, but we still must take care of others. We are products of our time. We are products of our current state and the realities of the day. I think a rationalist like Ayn Rand should agree that what we have in America doesn’t really work for everyone right now, objectively or subjectively.

          Annie

          PS I think you are just great! Thanks for saying I am not a drama queen. I don’t really think I am either. I am figuring out my beliefs, and I haven’t really decided yet.

          There are so many things I think I can’t do Tom, that when I read your question it made me cry. I am working on feeling more capable.

          1. Tom Mrak says:

            I have a lot of doubts about myself too.

            I really like electronic music, and people aren’t as age obsessed in that “scene”.

            I have a lot of doubts because making money as a creative person can be difficult.

            I sometimes wonder if I will be able to even make it to tomorrow some days. lol

          2. Tom Mrak says:

            Annie,

            I still question a lot of my beliefs. Even the one I just mentioned probably has no real weight.

            I decided that I will empower people when it is not detrimental to me because people do not empower me when I need it.

        3. Annie says:

          Oh Tom your ideas have weight. They do, and so do mine. We can do it! Go us. 🙂

          Annie

      2. Randy Gage says:

        I don’t think you can make those judgments without reading the book.

        -RG

        1. Annie says:

          Okay. I will read the book.

          I still understand the philosophical underpinnings of objectivism. I think it may be unfair just to criticize though without reading her books. The english language isn’t always adequate, and I think she purposely changed the definition of selfishness. However, it does cause some confusion and can lead people in the wrong direction.

          It is an equivocal argument without having the studied the same treatise.

          However, I think I can come to some judgements on the philosophy without having read the book. Be sure of it, I just did in the above comments.

          I am a little confused right now. I know I was talking about codependency, and I know that Ayn Rand is a philosopher not a psychologist. I think we should be very careful about combining poitical philosophies with psychological ones. And if we are going to talk about codependency okay. If we are going to talk about objectivism okay. If you are going to clump them together okay, but tie it together better. It is misleading to say “The Virtue of Selfishness” is about codependency and worthiness issues when you don’t really make an argument of why and how they fit together.

          Anyone here can comment on this post, without knowing Ayn Rand, because you haven’t really brought objectivism into the argument. You have only eluded to it. Anyone can understand the concept of loving yourself, but what does that have to do with Ayn Rand’s theory of objectivism?

        2. Annie says:

          You are not a nice man today. I am so glad you are selfish and love yourself, because right now I am thinking it might be hard for others. YOU have equivocated here in this post.

          I have learned by reading you that prosperity is gained in nefarious ways. By manipulation and exploitation. That is what you are doing. This has nothing to do with Ayn Rand. I honestly don’t think she would like you either. You brag, you belittle, and I have had enough! I learn from you and I have learned things that help, but I am also disgusted and dissapointed.

          Why are you so upset that some people get something for nothing? Because you didn’t? GET OVER IT! You have lots now, be happy. Go make love to your harem of cars. Leave the politics alone. STOP, it is wrong! People come here like me with issues we are trying to resolve Quit trying to indoctrinate us with your POLITICAL BELIEFS!

          There will never be a perfect soul mate. That is a bunch of crap. No one is perfect or perfect for us. You will forever and ever be a lonely person with those beliefs. No one will understand you perfectly, no one will be the perfect non codependent Randian, not even you!

          Stop using this forum as a justification for your abyssmal understanding of emotion and intimacy. Stop trying to control others to believe the way you do. If you want to live alone with your false premises about life, do so quitely!

          If you must find a philosophy that promotes, selfish self interest and guilt free living Ayn Rand is not for you. That is not what she is about. How about trying Machivelli instead.

          I know, I know you give, you give so much bless your heart. Doesn’t make a difference to me.

          Having said all that, I still think you have lots of good to offer, but it is lost in translation.

          Okay I get it I don’t have to come here, but it does help me, and I like you. But you really piss me off sometimes.

  16. Gabesuarez says:

    OK. I will read the Rand’s book. We have the spanish vertion here. Will read and then I will comment.

    1. Gabesuarez says:

      In yesterday’s post I think I am not understood properly or I did not understand the point they wanted to go.
      In fact we are all selfish, that’s for sure, because if we are not, we would not have a life, we would not have our own objectives to reach, we would not have projects, we would live to meet the needs of others. That will not make you happy.
      However, I think we have to look for the right “percentage” of selfishness within us to achieve our goals in life but still we have to look around us.
      I do not think that we are talking about of a selfish without limits, where only interested in one’s own welfare, regardless of anything else. Buecuase we woulden’t be here sharing our thoughts.
      I read in the book “How to gain Friends and Influence People” (with which I agree) that the human being when is doing something has two aims, first, the public and is exposed, and the second is the real intention, there is a specific objective a desire to satisfy something of himself.
      I do not mean that we should stop looking for our well being to fulfill all the desires of others, if do that is very negative. However, I also believe that one should give their time, a percentage of their time for service to others.
      I have a question. Is it possible to live a life thinking about 100% in ourself, no matter what the other, not wanting to give something for others, who may need your help and knowledge?
      I think there are different moments in life where you devote your efforts to get ahead and create the tools to achieve your own welfare, but would not call that selfish. And there are other times where you can be very helpful for many, with the tools and wisdom achieved at the end of the day, if you did it for the passes to others, ie to serve others.
      I think I’m in the first stage of growth and need to develop my tools, but I think much of me and my future and my prosperity, I do not consider my sefl like selfish about it. But also give of my time in serving others.
      Maybe I’m still not at the intellectual level of the conversation that takes place here. However, I want (if you let me Randy) express because I think the way to learn is to participate actively. Today I will order the book you mentioned yesterday. If in any case, my comments can be detrimental to the context of the conversation, please let me know and I apologize if I made someone feel bad, that was not my intention. Regards

  17. Hernán E Jansen says:

    I have to admit, that I was among the “shocked” ones after I read the previous post.
    I have been wanting to help others to reach their goals, to overcome their fears and be truly successful. And then I was “oh God, what am I doing? Am I doing this because of my unworthiness issues? Do I have some hidden issues holding me back and taking me to the wrong way?”
    After I reflected a little bit on it and on some Tony Robbins teachings I understood something:
    It is not bad wanting to serve others, to do sacrifices for other or to seek others happiness. What is wrong is to do it to satisfy our need for “Significance”, trying to feel important and special NOT because our own perception of self worth but through others perception. INSTEAD, it is much better and healthier to do it out of a need for “Contribution”. Knowing, acknowledging, accepting and embracing our own self worth we can then aim to contribute to the greatest good through the light that we have, and do so for our own satisfaction.
    That what I understood, and that what I know believe.
    ps: it is interesting to learn and understand the basic human needs as explained by Tony Robbins, enables you to understand human behaviour and therefore your personal relationships.

  18. Pierre Leyssac says:

    Hi Randy

    One thing for sure I will do and that is see to that I have Virtue of Selfishness on the bookshelf beside Atlas Shrugged. When we on the BreakthroughU dealt with Ayn Rands authorship I borrowed it on the library, but what I get is that it is not a one time read.
    Here’s my current take on the subject. First is, I find it unwise to judge a systems fundamental values, meaning it’s productive assets on how we deal with the less fortunate individuals ie. helping and supprting in livelihood and growth. Second is, it’s dangerous in my view to speak of for a choice of politics and to opinionate what would make the world the happiest. It tend to be a very American approach, but sovereign nations is to be considered. You, my mentor for many years, I know, have GLOBAL concerns, but beware the trap.
    In my life, and I am willing, and about to trancend that being, I have choosen to follow strong teachers, and sought organizations to support, but where were I? I mean there were action being taken by me. But was it by me? I have agreed and disagreed and defended my beliefs. But were they mine? Who am I?

    What I am present to is, that true love is comming through now. That is the virtue of Selfishness.    
    It’s what so amuses me to be in your energy field. It’s the joy of creation I experience in you. 

    Selfishness is also the lack of fear to loose ones reputation. My inner life force is not dependent on others. “I” is the source of trading value for value.

    Love and Respect – Pierre Leyssac, cph

  19. The great Law of Attraction teacher, Michael Losier, uses the example of the flight attendant’s “in event of emergency” instructions to put on my oxygen mask FIRST, then help children & others with theirs. Selfish? Au contraire, taking care of myself first is the best–only!– way to prep for taking care of others.

  20. Eve says:

    I agree completely. If I take care of all my responsibilities and basic needs then when I come together to share with others I am sharing from a place of wellness, a place where I have an abundance to give. When I rush off to “play” before taking care of my basics what do I have to offer? Nothing. Then I would be looking for YOU to serve me.

    Sometimes it’s fun to help each other out. But when your always looking for others to help you AND your always willing to give away what you don’t have (money for example) to someone else who gave their money to someone else who didn’t have…what do we have? Everyone relying on everyone else in an unhealthy way. No one has energy, inspiration or the means to create anything fun. The only energy shared is drama.

    No thank you. I like drama but the kind that comes from art and play not from desperation!!

  21. Justin says:

    Relationships at their core are about co-dependency unless we as a whole can redefine relationships.

    I don’t like having the life sucked out of me. I need my own energy in order to live.

    If you want some of my energy it’s gonna cost you.

  22. Victoria Crowley says:

    Ayn Rand speaks of prosperity which is a right and responsibility of every individual. To be prosperous is to be independent.

    If everyone was selfish, the world would be full of mutual love, understanding and respect.

    I love my selfish self,
    Victoria

  23. whJustin Thomas says:

    I have spent nearly 10 years of my life in advocacy, trying to make the world a better place, volunteering and even creating my own non-profit. At the end of the day, I was exhausted, physically and emotionally worn out and disempowered.

    Since joining a new business, my business coach, Philip, has offered the following bit of advice, “Want to impact poverty, STOP BEING POOR”. Being SELFish is not the same as being self-centered. IT IS about centering one’s self such that they can have impact they want. This is been huge lesson for me to be SELFish first.

    Thank you for stirring up the pot.

  24. I remind myself EVERY DAY to be selfish.

    In the past my tendency was to put everyone else first and I lost MANY years of my life and got myself emotionally sick by the age of 32.

    Selfishness has changed my world around and made me a much more ATTRACTIVE human being.

    I highly recommend it 🙂

  25. Ken McDaniel says:

    Wow, what a lot of great responses! Now I’m going to admit to being selfish at this point! The problem I faced before I decided to worry about myself before was that I did not have anything left for myself! I gave out more than I was getting back. I was sinking my own ship, and for what? People who were unappreciative! I was raised as I thought, the rite way, to help others! Somewhere down the line I should have been told within reason! As much as I enjoy helping people, I knew I had to draw a line. I now believe just helping others is just that, helping others! At the end of the day the only benefit came to those I helped.

    Change had to come and it did, not long ago in fact! I have begun to focus on my needs and desires. I am happy to say that now I no longer put out more than I receive. I am doing better in business, I am able to focus on my goals more clearly.

    I have to admit though, my behavior has others wondering what crawled up my rear! I try to explain why I need to take care of myself first and that seems to brand me a bad person, go figure that one! I don’t understand why people would see me as a bad person but don’t really care! Will they care when my reaching my goals benefits them, probably not!

    No one feels for you when you struggle and everyone wants to be around you when you are successful! Hmmm!

  26. Mary-Ellen says:

    Are we truly trying to understand selfishness? We all come from different places of experience and understanding and wisdom. Isn’t a better question… What is it about us, that we are blind to our own weakness’s and strength’s. The word broken down says a lot. SELF LESS. Does this mean, think of yourself less? or less than others? Even if we think less, does that mean we are not valuing ourselves? or does it mean we value others more because of how much we value ourselves?

    1. Victoria Crowley says:

      Hi Mary-Ellen,

      You asked a question “…does it mean we value others more because of how much we value ourselves?”

      And to answer your question, we must first answer the following:

      WHAT do we value ourselves FOR?

      and

      WHAT do we value others FOR?

      Victoria

  27. Sean says:

    Wow Randy, you’ve really stirred up the emotional hornets nest this time…and I’m sure that was exactly your intention.

    In my past (which has been a fairly eventful, dysfunctional and volatile one!:)) I can remember clearly that whenever a conversation/confrontation/debate has has created an emotionally unhinging reaction within me, that the intensity of my reaction usually has little to do with the actual topic and everything to do with my own personal experience/triggers that the topic is rubbing up against. Annie, I feel for you regardless of your stance on any of this, because every message you post can barely contain the pain that is overflowing from every sentence. In the grand scheme of things I think you’re extremely lucky to have this blog and especially Randy, who seems to trigger such fundamental anguish/pain/conflict within you…it seems to be a great opportunity for you to dig deeper, past the knee jerk reactions, and see what’s really going on for you. If you can, try and get in touch with whatever is being rubbed so raw by Randy’s information…there’s some valuable stuff under the surface if you can shimmy past your anger and see what pain is causing the anger…because the anger is just a symptom…the pain is the cause. I wish you the best in your quest for healing.

    As for me, the selfishness that Randy is suggesting is the key to personal health/prosperity and by logical extention, world health/prosperity. But man did I waste a lot of time trying to save/rescue everyone!! 🙂 Thanks for helping me stay on point Mr Gage!
    -Sean

  28. Wow, quite the discussion!

  29. Joe G says:

    For me this whole discussion is a moot point because there is no one else out there. Go do a search on non-duality and learn some more.

  30. paul gallagher says:

    Randy,

    An interesting and provocative post. It generated a lot of HEAT on these boards!

    Whew!

    Think I will go get a cold one…….

    You probably already know this, but new movie Atlas Shrugged will premier in South Florida area April 15th (interesting day for premiere!)

    http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/?gclid=CPXxltPp9KcCFchg2godsSkPcA

    enjoy!

    pg

    1. Randy Gage says:

      Yes I’m going to really start beating the drum for that as we get closer.
      -RG

  31. mo says:

    I grew up with a mom who never sacrificed anything for me.Always thought of her self first,made me the center for the drama she could not play herself,put me in situations a child should never be in,got me totally out of my self.Never gave me nice clothes but herself.Never encouraged my talents,never stood up for me in anything.Still today I do not believe 100 % that I can become a worthy person.But the hope is there and trying to have faith too.Really trying.She was selfish.And it was terrible.But I get your point,I think.

    1. Victoria Crowley says:

      Mo,

      Your mother was self-centered. Not the same as rational selfishness.

      If your mother had any self-esteem, you would always be first in her life. If she valued her self, she would have valued you.
      That means that she did not respect herself, therefore could not respect anyone else, including you. I’ll bet that nothing ever made her happy….

      Forgive your mother, what she did, she learned from someone else, perhaps her parents…

      Now it’s your life and your choice to be like your mother, or to be the best you can be…

      It’s not what you get, it’s who you’ll become when you get it. Because if you don’t like yourself now, what you get will not make you happy…. – Jim Rohn

      Sending Love and Prosperity to you Mo,
      Victoria

      V

  32. kathleen Caldwell says:

    Randy,
    My mother never learned how to fill her own cup or allow it to be filled by others. She could not communicate her needs and played the martyr all her life, everything was always someone else’s fault. She was always “sacrificing” for others.
    How could she teach others to do that which she never had? Because her needs were never met, she could not fulfill even the basic relationship and measure of happiness. She grew to be bitter and lonely, driving others away.

    The stewardess teaches us to put our own oxygen mask on before assisting others. Is that “selfish”? How can I help/lead others if I’m dying, sick, broken and miserable. Who would want to follow that????

    As you put it so well, Randy, my best gift to the world is to develope my mind,body,spirit to it’s maximum. The Creator endowed all of us with the desire to be successful and the best we can be.
    I will fill the cup of others from the overflow of my own.

  33. Jack Foley says:

    Great Post Randy..

    Its good to be selfish as thats the best way to be comfortable in your own skin..

    Love this..

    Don’t ever give up on your own dreams for someone else

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