I tried it, and it didn't work. No matter what I did, focusing on others did not bring me any closer to the success I wanted. I learned the hard way to focus on myself first and foremost.
Modern society would have you believe that focusing on the needs of others is the way to success. While there is some truth to this, it isn't the whole truth.
Yes, keeping what others want in mind will bring you some success. That being said, you shouldn't rely on others to fulfill what you want for yourself.
Selfishness is unjustly outlawed in modern society. In this post, I'll be going over a few reasons to focus on yourself first and foremost.
1. Within your realm of control
The greatest philosophy for any man to learn about is stoicism. Stoicism teaches men to be more grounded and in control of themselves. One of the core tenets of stoicism is to not focus on things outside of your control.
Growing up, I adopted the mindset that everything matters from the way my dad would react to everything. He would always blow up over the smallest things.
This led me to always focus on how he would react to things rather than focus on what I wanted. This led me to have some psychological issues I would fix later on.
One of those issues I had to fix was being overly attached to outcomes.
There was one girl I was texting that really liked me that I liked back. Eventually, I scheduled a date for us and she agreed.
When date day came around, she didn't show up. Instead of letting it go like I knew I should have, I got needy and over texted her.
I was too focused on my ego rather than my peace. The result is that I killed any of the attraction she had for me.
Only once I really understood stoicism was I able to incorporate this concept of focusing on what's in your control. And the only thing in your control is, well, YOU.
By focusing on yourself, you limit the mental overhead to only that which is necessary.
2. Give and take is not acceptable
By far the biggest concept that modern society has people adopt is one of generosity towards others. It's been pushed so far that it's starting to become toxic. Regardless of how far it's come, being generous before you can provide for yourself fully is simultaneously not acceptable and socially encouraged.
One aspect of human nature is to avoid being indebted to somebody else. This is to avoid having to give others your precious resources.
When looking at how the brain functions, this makes sense. The brain still thinks we live in primal times when resources are scarce.
Even now, this still makes sense. Resources are still limited, and it's still not easy to get yourself to a point of abundance.
I remember a bible verse talking about generosity. That bible verse about the poor old woman and the rich Pharisees donating to the temple.
The Pharisees give from their abundant riches, while the poor old woman gives two coins which equate to a penny's worth in our time.
Jesus said to his disciples that the old woman gave more than the rich people because she gave out of her poverty. While this is a nice sentiment, it's not practical.
In life, strive to be like those rich Pharisees in terms of resources. Obtain your abundance so you can give without worrying about yourself.
The second reason to focus on yourself first is to secure your life so you can help others without worry.
3. If you don't, nobody will
Pop quiz: how many people are willing to give you want for free? That's right, none. Not even yourself. Nobody wants to give you what you want without something in return. Not even you will give you what you want without something in return.
In order to get what you want, you need to put in the work to get there. Whatever it is, you have to put in the hours of work.
Nobody else will do this for you because they too want to achieve what they want.
Sure, you can hire an employee to work for you, but that's still because of what they want. You are willing to give them money to work for you, and they want that money.
Yet modern society brainwashes people into thinking that life will happen for them. They sit around all day, praying all day for their desires to fall from the sky and be fulfilled.
I used to think this way. It led me nowhere.
Ever since I dropped out of college, I've put in work toward my goals over time. I started with fitness and mental health and have branched out a lot ever since.
By starting with these two, I came to learn that I have to be the captain of my ship; I have to go after what I want if I want it.
I learned to be unapologetic about what I want and go after it. If it means I have to hurt somebody on the way, I'll do it if it's unavoidable.
Life's too short to not go after what you want.
The third reason to focus on yourself is so you get what you want because nobody else will do it for you.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't
One lesson I've seen repeatedly is that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, so you might as well do what you want. Although a much more aggressive way of looking at the topic, it still contains vast wisdom.
Focus on yourself more than others. You've got one life to live, and nobody but you can live it.