"THE ELEVATOR" E18
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Did you miss me last week? There was no new Elevator and no new post.
Why? Because I needed to take time for myself. No particular reason, just because.
I practiced Selfness,
a term that I created to reflect the reality that is opposite to selfishness.
You buy a pie for dessert and cut it in equal portions for the family.
You save yours until later. Everyone is occupied until you get it out to eat.
Then someone asks you for a bite.
At that moment you feel a tightening of your stomach muscles in protest
and a screeching, insistent voice in your head that says "this is mine".
Then all of societies' messages about selfishness kick in and you say "ok".
Nothing is free! That bite carries a cost.
When you give up what is yours out of "selflessness" you must receive payback.
You snap at that loved one oversome you normally wouldn't notice or care about.
You become angry over trivial, even inconsequential matters.
You'll not even connect the actions to the action of denying yourself what was yours.
The person who acted in a selfish way was the one who asked for what was yours and expected that you would fulfil his needs at the cost of your own, by putting the need of the other person above your own need for all of your own pie.
A recognition of "selfness" would have allowed you to say no, eat your pie (guilt free) (another Elevator at a later time), satisfy your own need; and thus be able to go to the store the next day and buy that loved one's favorite dessert.
Anything else provides the lesson that
individuals are not responsible for meeting their own needs. Someone else is.
Is this the lesson we want to pass down to the next generation?
That our daughters need a boyfriend to provide her happiness?
That our sons need a girlfriend to validate his masculinity?
And so - a definition. Selfness -
recognizing ones own needs and fulfilling them without direct harm to another.
On an airplane emergency instuctions indicate thatwhen ther is a lack of oxygen due to depressurization that when traveling with a child or disabled person to put your own mask on first before taking care of the other person.
After all, when you can't breath you can't be of help to anyone else.
The rest of life works in the same way -
you can't adequately fulfil someone else's needs until you fill your own first.
When I want flowers it's my responsibility to get them.
I can ask someone to pick some up for me but if they forget I won't be angry
because my need is not their responsibility. I'll go get them myself.
Next week, defining Selfishness and when it absolutely appropriate to use it.
Til then, identify your needs and begin to fulfill them.
THIS WEEK: SELFNESS VS. SELFISHNESS - part 1
to provide training for your staff,