The word is negative, yes! But let’s hypothetically rid it of that connotation. It is only natural to be selfish; it doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human. I’m not saying it’s alright to be selfish, I’m saying it is oh, so true.
From the loving mother to the business owner, from the driver on the highway, to your best friend or even your wife: they are all a ‘Selfish bunch!’ The philanthropist involved in charity is probably the most selfish of them all. Tell me, is he not looking for self fulfillment, inner peace, and some good works to his name or even some good press?
Let’s go back to the mother again who wants her children to succeed in life; the selfish woman who wants them to succeed will go to any length. As her husband, your business has to thrive because as far as she is concerned-your children must go to the best schools and you must build that dream house.
Your boss in the office needs you to work efficiently. He might give you the occasional pep talk on how you need to develop yourself, very nice, but honestly, he just needs you as his tool to achieve his goals for that season.
Thank God we have regulations and law enforcement agents of some sort in our community to put us in check, else we would kill the next man just to succeed or get ahead.
Don’t even get me started on our polity. Leadership is about service. But unfortunately, service has been redefined in Nigeria and several other nations across the world. Service is now towards oneself and not to the citizens. Nations now dwell in the paradox of wealth and natural resources against the consistent backdrop of deprivation and backward thinking.
Considering all that I’ve said, I still think some good can come out of being selfish. How? It took a long time for me to figure this one out. To be sincere, I’m still figuring it out.
Channel your selfish energies positively. Apply your selfishness to a worthy cause, a legal one. No stealing, no killing, no vendettas of course! If you want your subordinates to do the work better, motivate and encourage them, it will yield huge dividends. I don’t need to proffer an advice to the “selfish” self-sacrificing mothers; they are doing a good job already, so they are justified as long as they don’t err against the law.
Leadership is influence not affluence. The beauty of life, however, is that wealth cannot elude you when you impact others positively. It is rare to find an influential person who isn’t wealthy.
You can be selfish but ensure your actions are legal and morally upright and are for the good of the next man. Did I just describe selflessness? You decide!
Originally Featured on ynaija.com
By Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa