Saturday, December 11, 2010

High Fives From Ayn Rand, Jesus and Buddha

Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Ayn Rand first tipped me off to the virtues of selfishness when I discovered her in the back corner of a used bookstore in high school. I read Atlas Shrugged and thought, "This goes against everything I've ever believed in but it makes so much sense".

Hey there, pretty lady!

The wisest decision I made this year is to finally embrace this idea that selfishness can be rewarding both to myself and everyone I come in contact with.
I did this in a number of ways:
  • Letting go of harmful relationships
  • Spending more time by myself
  • Saying "no" more often
  • Speaking up for my wants and needs
  • Choosing to be nice to myself instead of harming myself
  • Spending more time on things I WANT to do and less time on things I feel like I "have" to do
The results have been INCREDIBLE.

For most of my life I've felt like I need to put everyone and everything else in my life before myself. Whenever I would choose to do something beneficial for myself instead of putting someone else first, I was served with a large dose of GUILT and SELF-DISGUST. I feared that thinking about myself or helping myself was a Sin the likes of which made Jesus cry.

The truth is, self care and healthy selfishness has produced quite the opposite result. In fact, once I think I even felt Jesus pat me on the back.

I am healthier and happier and as a result I am living a more productive life.

It turns out that, during all those years that I was worried about serving other people, the best and most effective thing I could have done was to take care of myself first.


  1. For me, it was "the fountainhead", discovered in high school while pursuing a scholarship. It was very affirming. I had always described myself as a selfish person. Ayn Rand put into words for me, what I had already internally understood about myself. Still to this day, I do not hestitate to tell people, first and foremost, I am a selfish person. Thank you for your thought provoking post. I am very happy you have emraced the positives of selfishness with such rewarding results! I love that you were moved to write this particularly thought on this particular day.

  2. Wonderful post, Emily. I'm on a similar path. It's the self-respect and self-love that truly propels us outward and forward.

  3. Totally on target! Congrats on realizing that you can only care for others as well as you care for yourself. I came to the same conclusion myself a few years ago, and it was one of the best discoveries of my life.