“Claim your own at any hazard.”
As a shy kid, I always admired Pepe Le Pew. As a recovering shy adult, I still do.
Pepe let it be known what his intentions were. I believe there is something to learn from his aggressiveness and his immunity to rejection. And his feline princesses only ran from him because of his stank. not because of his self-absorbed, arrogant swagger.
In the real world, whether it be attracting a world-class lover, making high-level business connections, influencing clients to work with you instead of your competitors… the meek, do NOT inherit the earth. The Pepe Le Pew’s do.
How you do anything is how you do everything
Man is the only living species that has the power to act as his own destroyer—and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.
And this brings about the topic for the day:
Selfishness. A word that like the sight of Pepe le Pew, wrinkles the nose of most people who hear it or say it or are identified with it’s label.
Webster’s dictionary defines selfish as “caring unduly or supremely for oneself; regarding one’s own comfort, advantage, etc. in disregard, or at the expense of, that of others.
Thomas Leonard, the author of “The Portable Coach: 28 Surefire Strategies for Business and Personal Success”, a book I’ve ABSOLUTELY fallen in love with, says that selfishness is a state in which you actually do what is best for you and that this in turn creates a larger contribution to your family and to the world.
Holding on to, and being ruled by, other people’s definitions of selfishness have probably created a barrier that you’ll need to break. Because fortune really does favor the brave, and the brave are guided by their own lights. This is just as true about small concerns as it is about larger ones.
Here’s what my heroine Ayn Rand, famed philosopher and author of the novel “Atlas Shrugged” has to say about the “S” word…
America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages, and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance- and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.
Distinctions to Draw
It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.
In case you’ve never really thought about how selfishness has been bastardized in damn near every culture on Earth, here’s a few perspectives to compare against each other that shed light on another, enlightened view point…
SELFISH VS. NEEDY — Selfishness is a choice.
Neediness means you’re driven by unmet needs, without choice. A victim who won’t take control of the emotions that bubble up and the pattern of negative behaviors that come with these emotions.
SELFISHNESS VS. SELFULNESS — Selfulness means filling up your soul and yourself from the inside. It’s a good term to use if you’re afraid of selfishness.
YOU VS. YOUR ROLES — You are distinct from your roles. Selfulness often requires abandoning or restructuring of roles, so there’s room to grow.
NEED VS. WANT — A need is something required to be yourself, fully at your best. A want just provides gratification, usually temporary. Both are terrific. Needs are more important.
WANTS VS. SHOULDS — A want is something you selfishly acquire because it makes you feel good. Wants can be very healthy and motivating. A should is something you believe you must do, or suffer consequences. Shoulds generally slow your development.
GENEROSITY AS A BY-PRODUCT VS. GENEROSITY AS A FOCUS – Selfishness makes you more generous, on a sustaining basis. Lack of selfishness makes generosity too costly to you, your life, and those around you.
JOY VS. PLEASURE — Joy is intellectual excitement, emotional involvement, and physical pleasure combined. Pleasure is mostly physical.
How Do You Start Doing What’s Best For You By Being Incredibly Selfish
Ayn Rand, through her writing left me with me with the feeling that I wasn’t wrong for pursuing what my heart yearned with her concrete stand on the virtues of selfishness vs. self-sacrifice but in none of her material did she lay out a set of actionable guidelines (some would argue that she didn’t need to) you could implement right away that would end your internal and external conflicts and set you on a path to personal freedom.
1. One way of becoming incredibly selfish would be making the decision to script and time block your day and make sure it’s known to people around you that will not tolerate being interrupted during specific times of the day and if they wish to talk to you, they must wait until a certain time when you’ll answer any and all questions they have.
List at least two examples of what “becoming incredibly selfish” looks like to you…
2. Thomas believes that we each have a special gift or personal trait that is uniquely ours. We have to take the time to be selfish in order to uncover what that gift is and how it can contribute to our lives and to society at large.
Write down any special gifts(s) that you believe you have. If you have no idea, write a list of things that bring you the greatest joy.
3. Next step is where you discuss your commitment to becoming more selfish with those whom it’s going to affect: you family, boss, etc. Make a list of those individuals who you should inform of your decision to become more selfish.
4. One way to begin to be more selfish is to start saying “no.” Make a list of those things that you would like to start saying “no” to, and journal about any of the steps that you’ve taken toward doing so.
5. Write a list of ten things that you really want for yourself in the next sixty to ninety days to help you stay focused.
6. Thomas suggests that you say “no” to at least one thing each day for the next seven days.
This leads us to next powerful concept, “Extreme Self-Care”, which you and I will talk about in my next post: Pepe Le Pew: Losing the Drama and Finding Your Balls – Part 2.
Until then, if you’re open to the growth and Pepe Le Pew Swagger that taking action on these 6 exercises can into your life, have at them and let me know what kind of awesomeness comes into your life as a result.
Note Taking Nerd #2
“Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations whether in music, art, poetry, mathematics, philosophy or anything else. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, then the group can take and build and extend it but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the the lonely mind of a man.”