There is a time for capitalism and competition, there is a time for arguments and debates. There was a time for a person to look out solely for themselves and pursue only what was in their best interest. But in today’s world, especially in Western society where we are so fortunate to live lives which for the most part are far easier than in many other places, we no longer need to hunt for food, fight for our lives, fend for ourselves. Our families’ survival does not depend on “beating” your neighbour at anything. If they take the last steak, you take one step to the right and get some ground beef. The outdated mentalities of compete to succeed and survival of the fittest at one time did help us get to where we are, but now it is vital to understand that coming together, helping each other, and growing as a single planetary unit (lofty) or unified community is far more applicable in today’s local and global settings.
I think that when a person really looks deep inside with an honest and open heart, there is a strong understanding that cooperation, respect and love for others is fundamental to what makes us happy and what helps us to feel good. When a person strays too far inwards and shuts off what they can provide for others, closing in and keeping their thoughts, feelings and ideas secret, they also shut the door on what the world can give back to them. In these cases, I would imagine the void left from ignoring the importance of a sense of community and the impact of serving others on your soul would be deafening. But if you open to those around you, share what is within you (whether you know it or not), BE that which you came to be then you allow the Universe to send that right back to you, allowing your own growth and your own happiness to improve along with those around you. It can be a struggle, especially where we live, but I like to believe that I am at a point now where the I always try to consider that the things that I do are not solely for me any more, but at least as equally for other people. Everyday I remind myself that I’m not a business man, I’m not an oil man, I’m a servant. I know that if I help other people build their dreams, mine will be built along side with them.
In my last post I talked about the importance of an individual finding their unique power, finding the identity that means something to them, finding what they want most out of life and pursuing their passion with vigor. Asking the important questions that lead you to view yourself from the outside to find out what truly makes you tick and how to find out how you can live the happiest life possible. One of my oldest and closest friends and I were discussing this afterwards, and he raised a great point:
“Western society is full of individualists and people out for themselves. When everyone is on their own “special journey” they forget to work with other people and their narrow view of life tends to be egotistical and self-centered.”
I wanted to address this, as I believe the real great benefit for putting a great deal of time into finding your true calling is so that you as an individual can give the greatest possible contribution that YOU can to your immediate circle of family and friends, those who you interact with in the street and even those who you may never meet which somehow your actions affect down the chain of “random” coincidence. By you putting all that you have into finding who you really are, what you really want, and what specific individual gifts you have to give the world, you are able to bring the greatest possible benefit to the greatest number of people, whether you know it or not! And when you do know it, and maintain a mentality of service-to-others while pursuing personal growth and improvement, the magic that can happen and the lives that will be changed are impossible to quantify.
“@SoledadFrancis: It matters not what you choose to do, be that a teacher or a busboy. It’s the unique essence you bring into what you do that matters.”
I believe that every single person has a gift to give the world to make it a better place. I also believe that through each other and by helping each other, we are able to contribute to the whole of everything in far more significant ways than we would be on our own. Whether you are a welder creating and repairing machines that help make our world go ‘round or fantastic works of art for thousands to behold, a business leader finding new ways for us to interact positively with each other to achieve common goals and empowering their staff to live their fullest life, a teacher imparting knowledge on a whole new pod of humans, a scientist breaking ground on discoveries which may change the world, a musician or performer bringing smiles, tears, joy and expression to millions, or a salesman…ok wait maybe not salesmen, but I’m pretty sure there are probably some salesmen who are good people too.
But if you’re not here to at least have SOME impact on other people (even if it is being a grouch to give people an example of how they don’t want to behave or make them more thankful for the good people they do know, thus improving them) then what’s the point of anything really? The point is, no matter what you are doing or how you are doing it, you are contributing to this thing we call life with these beings we call people on this place we call Earth. So you might as well put in everything you have and see what comes back. In my experience, the more kindness you show, the more of yourself you give, the more you try to help others, the better your life gets and the more you get in return…so by that logic really the only reason you should help others is so you can get more of everything you want..sounds pretty selfish right? That brings me to another point…
Another recent but fantastic and powerful friend of mine put the concept of selfishness in a way I think many may have trouble fully grasping, but she was able to explain so beautifully the idea I can’t leave it out of this article. True selfishness is not about only looking out for your own preservation, but true selfishness is failing to pursue the greatest YOU that you can see and be. If you don’t spend time to define what you are after and who you are and what light and joy and passion that you can bring to the world, then the benefit that can be provided from you to those around you is marginalized greatly. But with a perspective oriented towards service to others, it can be understood that in many cases the greatest benefit you can give to anybody else is to improve who you are. Because you can’t always convince a person or a group of people to change, if you want to have an impact a sure-fire way is to live the best possible example you know how in hopes that anybody looking in might wonder how you are so happy, how your life seems to flow so easily, and how they might be able to get to a better place themselves. And with a service to others mindset, you will only be inspired to take actions that improve yourself and also uplift others or at a minimum do not cause any around you any significant discomfort.
I have been called self-centered, I have been labelled as conceited, I have been judged as a cocky, arrogant dick at times. And I will not say that these labels were unwarranted on many of those occasions. I know that I have come across as seeming to think I know everything, that I have all the answers and that what you know is wrong. I am very aware that my attitude towards many at times in my life has been exactly that. But in those moments of pure “selfishness” and disregard for others and their perspectives, I realized two key things. One of which was how powerful that attitude can be from an INTERNAL perspective (nobody needs to hear my thoughts of how great I know I am or how true I think my own thoughts are, but believing that can be incredibly empowering and cause me to raise my own standards for my behaviour). The second and far more important realization I had after a few wake up calls was how disgusting it made me feel to realize after the fact how brutal I was behaving and how if I really wanted to be a great man and help the greatest number of people that I needed to put them first in my brain and heart, and take action from that place. As Confucius says, “Be demanding of oneself, be indulgent towards others.” A bonus was understanding I know very little, which allowed me to learn and grow so much more.
Rather than separating myself and improving FROM others, I began to want to distinguish myself as an example and become better FOR others. Am I good at this yet? Not as good as I could be or want to be. Walking the talk is a challenge as we all know. But that is one of the reasons for this blog. I want to be remembered as a man that gave unconditionally and built other people to be the best they could be. When I die, I want my funeral to be a massive party. I want people to celebrate my life and my existence. Every day I try to wake up and live my life to make this into a reality. You and I are going to die one day, it’s not good or bad, it is what it is. That being said, how do you want to be remembered? No one cares if you’re the richest man in the cemetery. If you live, love and matter to other people then you’ll not only be remembered for years to come after you’re gone, but you will also create waves of positive actions from those who will walk behind you on this big blue ball of craziness. Not to mention the high five you’ll give yourself for a life well lived when you reunite with all that you are after the dirt.
More to say, but this post is too long already! Something to appreciate: There are 10 TIMES more cells living in/on your body than actual human cells that you are made of, each of the bacteria are there to help you in some way. Some help digest, some help deal with other germs and keep our immune systems healthy, each with their own role that makes us able to live the healthy amazing lives we do. Take a deep breath and ten seconds to consider yourself as a vitally important piece of something much larger, that maybe you can’t even perceive, but know that without you and your contribution, that larger thing would have no chance of survival. You are needed!