I believe we should all be a bit more selfish. We should all prioritize our own needs. We should take care of ourselves before taking care of other people.
I was recently reading the book “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson, and he has a chapter about how most of us are actually better at taking care of other people than we are at taking care of ourselves.
Give someone a prescription and they might not always take it. Give that same person a prescription for their child/pet — they have more commitment to the habit.
Turns out, we’re actually very bad at prioritizing our own needs over the people around us.
Think about it — most of us work for other people, stop at the drop of a dime for friends and family, and generally overextend ourselves trying to help the people around us.
And where does it leave you?
Tired, stressed, frustrated. Like you didn’t take enough time for YOU in all of your attempts to help everyone else.
That’s why I am my number one priority.
Thats why I am the most important person in my life.
Thats why it’s always me first, everyone else 2nd.
Sound selfish? That’s because it is.
But I believe that being selfish is a good thing.
YOUR needs must be taken care of before you can help anyone else around you.
You’re of no service to anyone if you’re tired, stressed, anxious, frustrated, angry, etc. You can’t perform at your best with these emotions in the way.
I don’t care how noble your cause is, if you don’t have your own shit together, you’re of little use to anyone.
If however you are in a mentally stable place, a place where you have free time, energy, and creativity to SPARE, then you can actually help others.
Why? Because you have EXCESS. You have properly taken care of YOU, which means that now you have space for someone else.
I help others when I’m my most authentic energetic self.
On the contrary I hurt others when I’m tired, stressed, anxious, or frustrated.
I make good decisions when I’m well rested and operating with a calm mind.
On the contrary I make bad decisions when I’m not in a good frame of mind…Then these decisions affect the people around me.
Despite my best attempts to “help” all I’m doing is hurting the people around me.
Put on your own life vest and air supply before you help the people around you.
Everything must flow from a foundation of self love. If you love yourself, you won’t put up with a shitty job, toxic people, or unhealthy habits. If you love yourself, you won’t subject yourself to unnecessary stress. If you’re the top priority in your life, the only thing that matters is living an optimal life, because you know that is what is best for you.
The funniest part?
Most of us don’t know how to do this. We don’t know how to prioritize ourselves. We don’t know how to love ourselves.
We’ve gotten so good at prioritizing the needs of others that we forgot how to properly take care of ourselves.
So here’s how I do it.
My morning is ME time
Before I go anywhere or do anything, I do things for ME. I meditate and do yoga. I go for a walk outside. I get in some exercise. I read a book along with breakfast. Before I do anything for anyone else, I do what is best for me.
I eat a good diet
Think about how many people eat shitty food because they are….in a hurry 🙄
People who eat while working. Eat crappy foods because they have “work to do”.
If you are truly the #1 priority in your own life, if taking care of yourself is more important than anything else…then eat good food. Eating like crap means that you are prioritizing other areas of your life over yourself.
I exercise daily
It’s basic but if your top priority is you, you have to exercise. If work gets in the way of exercise that means that work is more important than taking care of yourself…which means your priorities are all fucked up.
Don’t have time? Thats because you don’t CREATE time.
Work/paying the bills too important? The more you prioritize your own needs the better you will perform at work and the more opportunities you will have to advance.
Take care of yourself and exercise so you can feel your best.
Barack Obama famously kept his workout routine up when he was President — my brother once said to me “if the President of the USA can manage to get an hour of exercise in every day, you have no excuse not to.”
I voice myself
Not saying what is on your mind is the same thing as telling a lie because you are hiding the truth.
Why do we hide the truth? Because we don’t want to hurt the other person OR we’re afraid of their reaction.
Thus we keep the truth to ourselves, never expressing it, and hurting ourselves in an attempt to help others.
Voicing your feelings and emotions is a good thing — as long as you don’t keep circling around and repeating the same shit over and over. Get it out of your system.
The early bird truly does get the worm in all areas of life. I generally find that the most proactive person sets the tone in relationships, business, you name it.
If you know what you want and voice it before someone else, if you seek their needs before voicing yourself — you have the control.
If you care about yourself you will do what you can to prepare so that you avoid things catching you off guard.
Proactivity means that you won’t have to be reactive to the plans of others. Proactivity means that you love yourself enough to put your needs out there before anyone else sets the rules.
Be your top priority in life. No one is more important than you, in your own life. No one should ever be put before your own needs.
Your habits are a reflection of your priorities, and in order to prioritize yourself you need habits to support it.
Your job is YOU. Your work is YOU. Before anyone else, before anything.
The more you’re on top of your own shit the better you can help others and the more you can lead by example.
Prioritizing yourself and getting results shows others that they can do it too.
Help others by helping yourself and being an example.
You only have one life. It’s yours and no one else’s. No ones needs are more important than your own.
You are your own top priority.
Originally published at Troy Erstling.
Other articles you will enjoy from me:
The first thing I do every morning to love myself
What is the VERY FIRST thing that you do every morning when you wake up?
Overflow your cup of self love
You can only love someone else if you have an excess of love for yourself.