Selfishness, Done Right.

Can it be a good thing?

Written by Veronica Pocza

Young, growing, professionals of Calgary: You all need to be more selfish.

Sounds bad, right? Not really. I’ve recently decided to become more selfish, and it’s been one of the most eye opening experiences of my life.

By selfish, I don’t suggest taking what isn’t yours. Hurting others to get what you want. “Doing whatever it takes.” No. I mean dedicate your time and your efforts to something that will satisfy you, and your inner desires and dreams. Have a lot of “me” time, and don’t feel bad about it.

As mid twenty-something year olds, many of us are on our way to exciting things. There is so much going on in this time of life.  You could be finishing up your post secondary education. You may be setting off on your first international experience. You may have found your one true love. You may have just started looking. You could be starting your first “big” job. You may still be searching for a career. You may be getting married. You might have no idea what you want to be doing, but are doing everything you can to find out.

Make Moves.

There is a time and place for everything. This isn’t meant to be a “stick it to the man” type of message, I truly believe in learning from and respecting those who are elderly to us, or of higher positions of power. These people can supply a wealth of knowledge, and we should all embrace any opportunity to learn.

All I’m saying, is in all of these millions of possibilities — just please, don’t be doing nothing. Do everything you can to identify what is right for you, right now, and do that. Whether it is just a phase, or something temporary, or your career – it doesn’t matter. It’s better than standing still.

Call it what you want.

I’ve recently experienced some significant changes in my life. Sometimes these are choices, and other times things just happen. Unfortunately, nobody is given the luxury to decide exactly what happens to us and when. One of these things that happens is maturity.

I’m still not exactly sure what maturity is, or what defines it as a whole. The definition may vary, depending on who you are talking to. However, one thing that I truly believe is a component to maturity is a sense of self.

Please, for the sake of those around you, and for yourself, achieve a strong sense of self. Develop a confidence, even if it only applies to one part of your life. Few of us already know what we want in life, but even if you find just one thing, no matter how small or large, it will be a part of the process of becoming your full “you.”

Your thing may be seeing Paris before you turn 50. Learning how to knit. Achieving a certain grade point average during post secondary. Challenging a new sport. Joining a theatre group. Planning to design your own house one day. Improving your cooking skills. Visiting local tourist attractions. Writing a book. Getting your first bar tending job. Taking more photos. Whatever.

Choosing a “thing” is one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself. It’s also good for those who spend time with you. You’ll have something to talk about other than the latest gossip. You’ll have something new for others to know about you. Wouldn’t it be a great feeling to know that those close to you understand your recent dedication, plans or goals? Now, when they think of you, they can think of that — and wonder how you’re doing with it. They can support you.

Love yourself first.

If you have a thing, or list of things, that you hold important to you — you will start to develop an amazing relationship with yourself. You’ll begin to make promises with yourself towards those goals and learn to love yourself for trying.

I’ve started to notice that I get excited about more things, because I am okay with being with myself. As a younger adult, I wasn’t fully comfortable with spending time alone. I always needed to be surrounded by my friends — because I would identify myself with the group.

There’s nothing wrong with friends, I love my friends. Over the years it has become more quality over quantity, and I think many our age can agree this happens to everyone. You stay in touch with certain people, and others, for sometimes no reason at all , just slip through the cracks.

The friends I see the most often, and have kept the closest, are people who are comfortable with themselves. These are the people that aren’t afraid to be smart, but also aren’t afraid to look stupid. I know that each of my friends have their shortcomings, and I know that each of them know mine. Everyone has short comings. But when you can put the pressures of immature relationships aside, you can really get to know the other person. You work together, on improving each other.

Please try and be one of these people. Think about yourself, a lot  — but in that process you will probably start to think of your effect on others, and that’s amazing. We need more of that.

All in all, I’m in no position to tell anyone what to do. Maybe it was just one of my “things” that was important to me — to write how I feel, and hope it makes at least one person think.

Disconnect to connect.

When I started doing this, being more “selfish” thing, I had to make some hard decisions. The right decisions may not always be easy. They may not always be justifiable. But if you know that it is what you need to do along this long and confusing path towards bettering yourself — then listen to it. Having more “me” time and not having to justify it, means you know what is important and are surrounded by those who support it.

Having something that’s important enough to you to do that will cause others in your life to respect you. The more people who begin doing these things for themselves, the better chance we will all feel the need to stop justifying and apologizing, right?

That being said, when you want to party your face off, party your face off. When you are around people, socializing, don’t just be there. Really, be there. Bring yourself along, this relationship you’ve worked on, and show it to other people. Get to know them, and their “selves.”

The best of times are ahead of us, see you there!

Subscribe to receive our weekly newsletter

Your destination for date ideas and experiences across Canada

Articles, Giveaways, Gift Ideas & More