Friday, February 24, 2012

Live Like the Honey Badger: Principle 5

This is the fifth in a series of posts entitled, Live Like the Honey Badger. Every Friday, I address one aspect of developing confidence, self-worth, a fearless nature and the like. Previous weeks are linked below.

Principle 1: Honey Badger Don't Care
Principle 2: Accept Yourself. Your Whole Self
Principle 3: Surround Yourself With Honey Badgers
Principle 4: Break the Mold

Principle 5: It's Not Selfish. It's Self Fulfilling.

So often in life, people see things as black and white. A choice is either right or wrong with no room for interpretation. We forget to factor in how individual circumstances play into decision making and how what is right for one person might not be right for another.

Take endurance training, for example.

To be successful when you toe the line, it takes hard work, dedication and endless hours of training. Thus, not everyone chooses to race endurance events. And as someone on the outside, it might be easy to say that a person, who trains hours on end for an event that they are unlikely to win, is selfish. That they are putting their needs before everyone else's. That the people in their lives are the ones who pay the price.

Yes, that would be easy to say. But, would it be entirely true? No. Probably not.

Let's turn the tables.

  • Perhaps that individual who is training hours upon hours for that event that they are unlikely to win is doing so to raise money for charity. Would that be selfish?
  • Or what if they were doing it to improve their health and well-being, not just for themselves, but for their family as well? Would that be selfish?
  • Or maybe they do it to fight the demons in their head. The demons that keep them from being fully present in their everyday lives. The demons that prevent them from being able to support their family like they'd hope to or that keep them from being a good example for their children. Would that be selfish?
Again, probably not.

But, the belief that making time for yourself to pursue your passions is a selfish act holds many people back from reaching their full potential. We need to let go of this misconception. Bettering yourself and doing the things that you love does not make you a selfish person, whether it's endurance training or opera singing or anything in between.

Yes, it takes commitment and dedication to pursue your passions, but it also teaches you (and those in your life) to prioritize and balance your schedule without causing the people around you to suffer. And often, it allows you to come back refreshed and more focused on the other priorities in your life. So, if you are waiting for permission to reach for your dreams or push past your limits, then you have it.

Go. Be the best you possible.

And remember, loving yourself enough to make time for yourself is not selfish. It's self-fulfilling.

10 comments:

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

Best.post.from.you.ever - I get the selfish comment A TON - even from other runners. Strange how people can't understand your commitment to running when your level is larger than theirs. We are all different - I choose my life. You choose yours. xoxoxo

ErikaS said...

Interesting. I suffer from the "selfishness" guilt but I am learning to reject that guilt and it's not selfish if it is helping me be a better me which in turn benefits everyone else.

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

Wow! So full of truth!! Thank you for writing this. I need to find the honey Badger in me

RunRaiseKidsRace said...

Thank you for your "truth" insight. It was well said! May we all be able to do what we love.

M said...

We also can't be our best selves to those around us unless we take care of us first.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Great post! I wonder if others would call me selfish is my passion was crafting? or cooking? or community service?
probably not.

Kates @ There She Runs said...

Awesome! I am so over judgemental people when they don't know the whole story!

Jason said...

How can others love you if you don't lover yourself? Simple.

How can you help others if you can't help yourself?
Simple.

Work on yourself before you make comments and work on others. We all live in glass houses and shouldn't be throwing stones.

Cindy said...

as i get older, i definitely have more of a honey badger attitude, and honestly don't care if others think i'm selfish. one of my guiding principles in life is live and let live, and to not judge others in how they lead their lives.

long live the honey badger!!

~Andrea~ said...

This series should be made into a book :)

SO SO TRUE!!