A Surprising Thing You Can Do for Yourself
Self-centered people are anxious and unhappy.
Research shows one source of self-centeredness is loneliness. A lonely person turns inward. Feeling isolated motivates people to focus on their own self-interest. What’s worse? Lonely people have higher risks of physical and mental health problems.
The title of this post isn’t an encouragement for self-centeredness.
When self-care is an excuse for self-centeredness, it’s destructive.
Self-care is more than a day at the spa or a quiet walk.
You take care of yourself when you care for others. When you pour-out for others, even in small ways, you pour a little into yourself as well.
Pouring out is pouring in.
When done appropriately, generosity is good for you. Of course, there’s a limit. You burn-out when you consistently pour into takers. (Read, “Give and Take,” by Adam Grant.)
You need good books, quiet walks, or a Sabbath to rejuvenate. You may also need to learn to receive. (Read, “The Go-Giver,” by Bob Burg and John David Mann.)
The purpose of self-care is restoring your ability to care for others.
A surprising reminder:
Yesterday, while running an errand, I took a wrong turn. I get lost in thought when I drive. I ended up a few miles out of my way. By accident I drove past ‘our’ garage. Don services our vehicles.
On a whim I stopped. Don’s head was in a car when I walked in. As he turned, I reached out and said, “I just wanted to stop and say thank you for the good service you provide.”
We exchanged pleasantries. I hopped back in my truck.
My visit to Hudson’s Garage cost me three minutes. But I noticed something when I drove away.
I felt happy. It reminded me of Martin Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism. Gratitude increases your happiness.
What can you do for yourself?
This is not trolling, its a comment amongs mature people.
Interestingly you end your story on how YOU felt happy. No mention on how Don felt and the consequences of your weird stop to tell him how good he was.
Taking care of people because of how it makes you feel takes away from the amount of effort and help one provides.
Merry Christmas Dan.
Again not trolling, just having a mature discussion.
Thanks Jon. The idea that we do good because it feels good to us is sometimes challenged. I see the selfishness.
If that’s the only reason we do good to others then we have a problem. We’ll likely end up disillusioned.
Don was delighted. His response didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was how good I felt after. That’s when I remembered Seligman.
Glad you jumped in today.