3 Selfish Reasons to Be Selfless

Sunday, August 19, 2012

give and share
Photo by Denise Carbonell
Image via Flickr/Creative Commons

Sometimes you need to take a break from taking care of everyone else. Sometimes you need to put yourself first.

But sometimes being selfless is the right thing to do. Sometimes by being selfless you can actually help yourself after all.

I present to you 3 selfish reasons to be selfless:

Being selfless is a great distraction when your life sucks. My family and I have been facing tough times lately. I have exclaimed the phrase "Life sucks!" more times than I care to admit. But, pushing my cares aside, last weekend I threw myself into being a good bridesmaid for my cousin who was marrying the love of her life. On Sunday and Tuesday I made time to hang out with gal pals who have recently given birth and were in need of some adult conversation. I found that when I stopped wallowing in worry and self-pity and decided to focus on other people instead, I was suddenly happier.

Being selfless is more fun than being a jerk. No, really, it is. Earlier this year James Spann, a renowned meteorologist here in the Southeast who has also been recognized for his superb Twitter skills, gave a talk on how to make a difference with social media. During his presentation he said something that really stuck with me: he said that when you start to put other people first that's when life gets good. And he's right. My organization See Jane Write is a perfect example. That networking group for women writers is truly a labor of love. I don't do this for money. When there's a venue to be rented or refreshments to be bought for an event I spend my own cash, cash I don't get back because I'm determined to never charge for See Jane Write events. I don't do this for fame. Most people don't even know who the founder and organizer of See Jane Write is. Frankly, it would probably be easier for me to accomplish my goals as a writer if I didn't spend so much time working on See Jane Write events. But I do it nonetheless. I do it for the sake of the women who attend  the programs and social events and I do it simply because it's fun! I honestly didn't start enjoying my life here in Birmingham until I got connected to the community through this organization.

Being selfless is the pathway to peace. This is something difficult for me to explain, but when I am pouring my energy and time into others without reservation or complaint everything within and around me feels calm. And soon enough, I start to see rewards for my good deeds. I see my work bear fruit. Whether you call it gifts from God, blessings from the universe, good karma or good luck, when you do good things for other people, good things happen to you. Perhaps not immediately, but eventually things start to work out and that sucky life you needed a distraction from becomes an awesome one.

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