Get Selfish in 2012: Make this the Year of the You
He couldn’t believe it. He stood in a cold TGI Friday’s parking lot as the realization sunk in: they weren’t coming. Not his friends, not the girl he was seeing—or he thought he was seeing, not even an acquaintance with nothing better to do. No one.
It was his birthday, and he thought that was reason enough for people to stop what they were doing for 2 hours to celebrate with him at a low-key happy hour. Back when he was wording the Facebook invitation, he imagined a round table bursting with beaming faces. Images of people he called friends celebrating the day of his birth with laughs and toasts and jokes was all he wanted. All he wanted.
But, as he collapsed onto the curb, he felt let down. A lump in his throat betrayed the sadness and hurt he didn’t want to admit to himself. He wanted to cry but he wanted even more to be happy—just be happy. That night, happiness was nowhere to be found.
This is the very believable true story of a former student of mine. It’s very believable because we probably all felt such feelings of disappointment and letdown. Whether it came from a girl who flaked on us or friends who bailed on us, we’ve all been there.
While the crybabies of the world love to use such episodes as evidence to support their insufferable plight, an empowered person uses these disappointments as a wakeup call. Whenever you give someone the power to disappoint you it means that you’re not acting selfish enough.
I use the word selfish in its most virtuous, Randian sense. By selfish I mean self-reliant, where you—and only you—are responsible for your own happiness. Giving others the opportunity to disappoint you is a fine example of avoiding personal responsibility for your own happiness and well being.
Thus, as an empowered, selfish person, it’s up to you to construct your life. Stop relying on other people for happiness, money, respect, love, or validation. A selfish person relies on no one.
Instead, pursue your interests shamelessly. As Russell Simmons said, “Do you.” Work out, build your financial independence, and be sure to devote time to cultivate your vision. Do these things for no one other than yourself—for your benefit, for your satisfaction, for your happiness.
I’ll bet I turned away a significant number of readers by using a word like “selfish” in the title of this article. Most people blindly hate the idea of selfishness because it contradicts everything they’ve been taught about ethics since childhood. But think about it. What’s the alternative? Altruism?
To live solely for the benefit of other people neglects the most important in your life: you. If you forfeit your own happiness, well being, and success for the benefit of others, you rob yourself of the unique gifts you could introduce into the world. Instead, you bet your life on others. And, when that bet flops, you feel disappointed—sometimes in a TGI Friday’s parking lot.
So make 2012 a selfish year. If you’re serious about improving your life and reaching your goals, get selfish. You can’t simultaneously want to change your life while remaining dependent and reliant on others. Let others enrich your life, but don’t let them define it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should act like a dickhead or become a greedy prick. You can extend kindness and even generosity toward anyone you’d like. But when it comes to your life and your happiness, do you.
And so 2012 is the year of the you. It’s about doing what you want, when you want, and how you want. Now stop reading this article, which I wrote for my own selfish benefit, and do something for yourself!
Cheers to the YOU YEAR!
>>>To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.
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About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.