The Art of Selfishness Pt. 1: What is Good for You?

In an interview, “Jane the Virgin” actress Ivonne Coll shared what she learned from famous actress Lucille Ball: the art of selfishness. Ivonne shared how Lucy advised her to mindfully place a note with the question: “What is good for Ivonne?” in a highly visible spot to reminder to always do what’s best for her.

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What a great idea!!

It’s ironic, as much as society labels the millennial generation as “narcissistic” and “entitled“, we are highly uncomfortable with the idea of being selfish and doing what’s best for us.

As a culture, we have a negative connotation with being selfish and associate it with being mean or evil. Yes, by definition, being selfish sounds horrible but it does not necessarily have to a bad thing! You are not suddenly a Disney villain if you do something that’s self beneficial. Furthermore, just because something benefits you, doesn’t mean it also has to negatively effect someone else.

What we need is to have a better relationship with ourselves. Many of us, especially fellow social entrepreneurs, focus on doing the right thing – helping others and prioritizing everyone else’s needs before our own. We do this so often, we lose ourselves in our work, relationships, and drive to please others.

We allow our friends, family, lovers, teachers/counselors, and others to dictate important decisions for us, regarding relationships, lifestyle, and careers! This happens all the time amongst my peers, especially first generation Asian Americans. Of course, our loved ones have the best intentions, I get it! However, do keep in mind – although their “encouragements” may be for our best interest, it is diluted with their own hopes, fears, and prejudice.

We need to learn to do what is right for us: our health, relationships, careers, well being and self-growth. Of course, what is good for us is something we have to learn, decide, act upon, and face any consequences that may come. Unfortunately, none of that can happen until first, we change our presumption of what it means to be selfish and second, we learn to love and respect ourselves better.

That brings us back to the question – what is good for [Insert Your Name Here]?

How do you tell if something is good for you? Keep in mind, what is good for you now may not be good for you in the future… So how do you decide? While you’re thinking about that, ask yourself: what if you make choices based only on what is good for you? How would your life change?

 

For me, I am working on it! I like to believe I know what is good for me. Unfortunately, it’s never the easy, fun, or exciting thing to do… but I am getting better at making conscious choices to do what is best for me, my business, relationships, and overall future.

How about you? What do you think is good for you? How do you go about deciding? And how do you motivate yourself to do what is good for you, even if you really don’t want to? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below and then go do them!

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Inspired by my work husband

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