Welcome to this weeks confab…
Righto, allow me get ‘my’ definition of ‘selfish’ out of the way first, as it could be slightly misconstrued.
For the purpose of this post ‘selfish’, ‘being selfish’ (not a crustacean) means “caring for oneself”and/or “concerned with one’s interests, benefits, health, welfare, etc address a way of being that we all are, or should be, instinctually doing: taking care of ourselves…aka self-care, or the act of self-kindness.
We need to take care of ourselves, but too many people don’t.
The reasons are numerous; usually stemming from lessons learned in our childhood, teenage and adult years… possibly suggesting a history of neglect, low self-esteem, poor role models…more than we can consider here. Those deep personal reasons, in combination with society’s excessive concern about not being “selfish,” may stop many people from taking care of themselves in the ways they should.
The truth is, the way the word is misused, everything we do for ourselves could be considered selfish if there is another person who doesn’t want us to do it. (not that that ever happens #eyeroll)
But what if the action we are attempting to take is really important to us, that it’s healthy, and necessary, and the desire of the other person to stop us from doing it is selfish?
No, disregarding others is not an accurate measure to determine whether you are being selfish. Neither is our weirdly innate ability to align ourselves with other individuals that ‘enable’ our behaviours and habits…this, as we can imagine, can be both a thing of great inspiration motivation, drive and benefit, but can also result in motivating and enabling destructive behaviours that are quite frankly a-bit-shit and detrimental to our physical health and mindset.
As motivational guru Jim Rohn famously said:
What is Health? (🎵baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more…🎶)
The definition of the word HEALTH (as per my post on March 15 of this year) is derived from Old English ‘hælth’, which is related to ‘whole’ ‘a thing that is complete in itself.
In that same post I also provided a dictionary based definition which said:“Health can be defined as physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and as a resource for living a full life. It refers not only to the absence of disease, but the ability to recover and bounce back from illness and other problems.”
So when I refer to health, or more precisely ‘health-wealth’ during this verbal slog, I’m going to attempt to illustrate what I consider is the ‘whole’ picture, the ‘whole’ box and dice…or what I call “theESSENTIALS”
These, in my opinion, non-negotiable Essentials include:
Firstly, your mind…that 1400gram lump of cholesterol ladened fat between your ears.
As my old mate Siddartha says “what we think we become”, no truer word said. If we can agree that it’s our mindset that will either propagate the outcomes we desire, or continue to either keep us compulsive and tethered to the past, or nose-dive our ambitions into the ground, then we need to do everything we can to foster a growth mindset. He also went onto say that “Happy is she/he who has overcome her/his ego.” Not too distantly different, depending on your interpretation, to the deeply-philosophical contribution by 70’s band Skyhooks when they professed “Ego, is not a dirty word”.
Secondly, your body…blood, bones, muscles, cells, mitochondria, genes, neurotransmitters, bacteria and everything else that makes up our body physical, and the capacity and efficiency at which ‘it’ operates.
We require, and must demand of ourselves, to be the best possible physical speci-woman or speci-man that we can be. Our genetic expression is not predetermined (think Epigenetic’s, that can be another post). Our physical, metabolic, hormonal, mitochondria/celluar health is ultimately in our hands. Yet ironically, though we pretty much have 90% control over our physiological expression, we can tend to mindlessly outsource our health choices to third-parties. The third-parties I’m referring to include poor habits, behaviours, distractions, compulsions (over/under-eating, regimental and or ideological diets, self-sabotaging etc) and other forms self-abuse that are detrimental to our simple, yet essential modus operandi…how well we feel, move, think and poo.
And lastly…err…hmmmmm…your own self-awarenesss?
Some may refer to it as ‘spirit’, you know, as in Mind. Body. Spirit. Some may prefer to it as enlightenment, religion, the power of positive thinking, the pursuit of happiness…whatever it is, and whatever floats your boat, whatever helps you keep you aligned to your processes of self-care, then call it what you will.
However this is my blog (nah, nah, na, nah), and because I’ll always do my best to play a straight bat (fuck me, a cricketing metaphor) …I’m referring to it as ‘self-awareness’ (<—- click here as i did post on this back in October 2019).
Why Self-Awareness Luke?
Pour moi, self-awareness is learning to understand who you are (as scary as that might sound)…it’s your own personal-philosophy. Philosophy comes from the Greek words meaning ‘love of wisdom’.
Philosophy uses pragmatic, realistic, real-world applicable tools of logic and reasoned thinking to analyse the ways in which ‘We’, ‘I’, ‘You’ experience the world.
It teaches, and demands sober critical thinking & debate, it requires close reading, clear writing, and logical analysis: it uses these to understand the language we use to describe the world and our (own) place within it.
Different areas of philosophy are distinguished by the questions they ask, such as:
Do my senses accurately describe reality?
What makes wrong actions wrong?
How should I live?
Who am I? (<—yikes!)
What do I want? (<—- oooh another pearler)
What purpose do Crocs actually serve?
…now I’m a complete novice and know absolutely nothing, but…all good stuff I say if you’re keen to have a wander-around that noggin of yours.
Honestly, and speaking purely from my own experience, if you want to resolve the shit from your past, partition the distractions to better harness the beauty of (your) now, to seek and gain a better perspective, challenge your belief systems, and train yourself to give less fucks, then do your research and find a philosophy that sings to your head and heart…it will be one of the best investments you can make that will pay huge dividends into your long-term, health-wealth ‘supabeing-fund’ aka your self-awareness.
These are three very different, but three essentially-interconnected aspects to our health – not only do they all rely on one-another, but without one, our ability to achieve or maintain the other(s) is near on impossible, it’s not only an exercise in futility, but a the well-trodden path of repeated failed attempts and reattempts at…‘being more productive’, ‘losing weight’, or ‘getting fit’ or ‘eating better’ or ‘reduce alcohol intake’ or ‘stop wearing crocs’, [insert repeated undesirable behaviour/s here……………]…ultimately if theESSENTIALS are all working synergistically, then we’re better abled to identify, address and stop doing (for good, because that’s the goal right!?) the shit that makes us sick, tired, grumpy, unproductive, and distraction-addicted…
We need to choose lifestyle habits that we have to live up to.
We need to actively engage in daily routines, sober lifestyle choices, habits and behaviours that fosters and motivates our desires and action to protect our wellbeing.
We need to take care of our brain, our thoughts and our internal narrative, secure time for quiet reflection – and identify (and eliminate) what steals our focus and ability for self-care.
We need to honour our body physical, via the foods we consume and ability to maintain strength and movement – and understand that we’re designed to move, be strong, virile and vital
And we need to learn to manage and curate our own self-awareness – this is especially crucial at these times, we need propagate our resilience, not allow external influences rob our perspective and override our ability to best respond to what life will inevitably chuck at our feet.
(channeling my inner Tony Robbins)
If we don’t have a grasp on all three, if we don’t learn and deliberately practice each day, then our ‘health-wealth’ will not only be predetermined, but potentially remain much too fragile and exposed, than it needs to be, when those moments arise, when those unexpected, and yes inevitable moments of ill-health, ill-thought and ill-behaviour strike.
For it’s exactly these times, when we’re physically and psychologically challenged that we need direct access to our own reserves of physical and mental grit and resilience, our inner-citadel if you like.
Because 1) feeling fit, healthy, strong, lean, optimistic, calm blah blah blah most of the time is fucking awesome and 2) You’re going need YOU to be as mentally and physically fit and agile, to be best equipped and able to respond when the inevitable happens, when you do get sick, or your partner or child gets sick…or ‘maybe’ a global a pandemic strikes, or we’re hit with an economic depression, enforced isolation, loneliness, heightened anxiety…what an unfathomable thought that would of been a few months back.
We have little or no control over this, but we do have complete control over how we respond…and it’s found within your health-wealth NOW, it’s the choices you’re making right now, that will determine how you not only respond, but how well and quickly you can recover, learn and bounce back.
Self-Care and Self Kindness is a Choice and a Habit…and Non-Negotiable
I’ve said this before, imagine using the same decision-criteria that you use for your children and love-ones, on yourself.
All the choices that you make for those so, so important in your life comes from a place of love, care, compassion and kindness…even the most hardest of decisions, the ones we often get wrong or get misinterpreted, come from the same place.
Why can’t we apply the same decision-metrics to ourselves when it comes to what is best for us?
Why do we mindlessly negotiate and outsource our our physical and mental mojo elsewhere, where everything that we need to thrive is found within?
Why is our advice for others so much better than what we offer ourselves?
Is it because it’s considered too selfish?
The above ‘Essentials may look and sound ‘a lot’.
You’re maybe thinking “I don’t have time for all that’ or “Luke, you’re talking out your arse”.
But the beauty of us as humans, and the synergistic nature in which we have evolved is that, it only takes a little bit of discipline (aka self-care) each day…and everyday…to really begin to reclaim a better mind, a healthier physique and improved self-awareness.
Because the three are so interconnected once you start working on one, the other areas will either automatically start to improve, or your self-motivation steps up a gear or two by natural default.
And I can guarantee that once you start, once you begin to reap the infinite rewards of self-care, your journey not only takes on a whole new direction, but you’ll do everything you can to protect it.
You will actively and consciously be alert, and less tolerable, to influences that mess with your mojo…and that is, in my book a pure act selfish self-kindness.
Onwards & Upwards