Why Your Main Mission Must Be Shamelessly Selfish

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Motivation / Productivity / Taking Action

There is a flaw with the idea that your purpose should be to help others.

I say this not because it’s wrong and not because Satan has taken over my computer.

‘Flaw’ because it diverts your attention away from what is more important.

We all want to make a difference in the world. We all want to contribute something amazing, inspire people, and leave a legacy.

This requires a mission and a sense of purpose.

Nigel was conflicted. Did he want to jump, or was he savouring the greatness to come?

And yet, because we’re human, we get these weird blocks that keep us from doing what we know we can do. And we all know what it is we should be doing.

We just question ourselves at every step…

Won’t other people think I’m weird if I do this?

Am I clever enough to be a success on my own?

Will I die penniless with an empty fridge if I try to make art for a living?

Having purpose is the one thing that allows us to keep going despite these doubts.

Helping others is good in so many ways, and will most certainly inspire you to take action.

But, I’ve learned that becoming exceptional at something must be my main purpose.

Thinking about this, formulating a plan for it, and envisioning what life would be like when I am the very best always stirs me up.

Both helping people and striving to become great at something both work to give us purpose, but just because two things can help you doesn’t mean that both deserve equal priority.

What we prioritise makes all the difference.

The problem with focusing on helping others is that we can neglect our own growth.

If we persist in being helpful at the expense of improving our own skills, we are doing ourselves and others a disservice.

Our growth is what the world needs most, not our helpfulness.

And so we must prioritize becoming the very best, first.

Like on a plane, when you’re told to take the oxygen yourself before helping others, you do the same in life.

Build and relentlessly increase your own worth before all else.

Help people and share what you’re doing along the way, but be driven towards mastery.

In following your inclinations and moving toward mastery, you make a great contribution to society, enriching it with discoveries and insights, and making the most of the diversity in nature and among human society.” –Robert Greene, Mastery

Aim not only to be good but to be number one in something that makes the most of your strengths and talents.

Number one will motivate you because the idea of it is exciting — if a little ‘unreasonable’ — and if you fall short, you’ll still land in a high place.

Bill Gates made the most of his logical mind, his introversion, and any spare time he had to master coding which eventually built software that helped millions.

Help yourself first to help others, rather than helping others in an attempt to gain admiration.

Be selfish, not to isolate yourself, but because you have the potential to change the world.

The Author

Alex is a project starter, sometimes finisher, writer and illustrator. He started Red Lemon Club in 2009 with the aim of helping talented creative people leave their mark.

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