“What do you want people to remember about you when you are gone from this earth?” This is the question I have asked many people throughout my journey in my career. I think we all want to leave a legacy of some kind and I’m always interested to hear the responses. Most say things like kind, caring, giving and selfless. “I want to be remembered as someone who gave more than I took.” What a wonderful way to be remembered.

The question I pose here for you today is, “How do you really know if your actions are truly selfless or are they actually selfish, and vice versa?”

Sometimes we see things we do or want to do as selfish because they benefit only ourselves. But I want to challenge you to look a little deeper. So many people, especially women, think that any act of self-care is a selfish act. I have had friends say, “Oh, I’m going to be totally selfish tomorrow and have a ‘me’ day.” In fact, having a ‘me’ day isn’t selfish at all.  The act of taking care of yourself is beneficial to the ones you love. ‘Always sacrificing’ yourself isn’t selfless. It is a very selfish thing to do. By not caring for yourself, you are risking the chance of not being there for your loved ones. Valuing yourself is showing love for your family and friends and setting an example.
Taking care of yourself is especially important if you are a mom. Not only must you take care of yourself so you can be healthy and be there for your kids, but also you need to set an example for them. If you have a daughter, you want her to grow up with the understanding that when she has her own family she needs to take care of herself too. If you have a son, it’s important to set the example so when he has a wife he understands how important it is that she takes care of herself.
Practicing self-love everyday will enrich not only your life but the lives closest to you.  When you take care of yourself, you are saying to your loved ones, ‘I love you enough to want to be my best for you.’ Being around and being healthy so you can be your best for your family is the best gift you can give them.

So take the ‘me’ time. Enjoy the moments and activities that make you a better more well rounded person. Don’t feel bad about getting a massage or a manicure. Get together with your friends for a night out. Enjoy some time alone with just yourself. Meditate. Soak in a tub. Read a book. Go for a walk. Everyday you should do something that is for you.

There’s a flip side to this too. Don’t use selflessness as an excuse for not doing things you should be doing to take care of yourself. For example, don’t use excuses like ‘to busy with the kids’ for not going to the gym. Or don’t tell your friends you can’t go out for girl’s night because you have to be at home for the hubby. First of all, usually these statements aren’t even true. Using ‘selfless’ acts as an excuse for not doing something, usually just means you really didn’t want to do them in the first place. So it’s important to start by being honest with yourself.lively-lady

Now let’s talk about the selfless acts we do that actually might not be so selfless.

If you do something for someone, for it to be a truly selfless act, you can’t expect anything in return. If you are only generous to someone to get gratitude back, then it is not a selfless act. If you get upset when someone doesn’t send you a thank you note for something you did or a gift you gave, then it wasn’t selfless. You were looking for something in return.

Selfless acts are those without thought for how we will profit or be rewarded. True selfless acts are ones we would do even it it was never known to someone else. Actually these are the best when no one knows. Selfless act happen when we identity with others. It’s not an act of condescending charity but rather motivated by a feeling of oneness.

The practice of selfless acts can be so rewarding and I encourage you to do something selfless everyday. Volunteering is a great act of selflessness. Giving blood, if you are able, helps those you will never know. Giving of your time is an amazing thing to do. The act of volunteering can have a huge impact on your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Feelings of happiness, well-being, less stress, better physical health and hopefulness goes hand-in-hand with volunteering.

Remember this, sometimes the best way to help others is to take care of yourself.  And once you have found your true spiritual flame, selfless acts are the way to spread the fire.

Self_Love_Rebel_Spring_2016_Selfless_vs_Selfish_Cyndi

Cyndi Po started in the business over 25 years ago, and has changed the lives of many since then.  She says, “Motivation, support, and most importantly, accountability are the keys to success.  My biggest lessons come from my failures so I am grateful for each of them.  I learned invaluable lessons {from my failures,} and the most important is that I am in this for the people.  I am here to make a difference in the world. I have a mission.”

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