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How Being Self-centered Is A Good Thing

Which "center" you have to choose?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re introverts or not. No matter your locations nor your occupations. We share the same problem: we are all self-centered.

The word has a negative connotation. Yes, there are many bad implications of this trait. But, looking it in a different way, self-centeredness can be good.

On the bad side, whenever I see someone, I would find his/her weaknesses and find things that I’m better at, to fulfill my ego. To shift the focus back to me. Believing that I’m better, smarter, cooler, kinder, whatever.

Many factors causing this: social status, circle of friends, background, and culture. It’s dangerous if we don’t control it. Why?

It leads to selfishness, the desire to use other people as means to get things for you. Also leads to pride, the desire to see you as superior to everybody else. It leads to capacity to ignore and rationalize your own imperfections and inflate your virtues.

When you’re selfish and full of pride, you can’t see the flaws in you. You become busy scanning for opportunities to improve externally, and forgetting your inner integrity. You think about how the world will accept you, reward you, believing that you are different, and better. You are busy proving instead of improving.

We all serve our ambitions. If you don’t have one, decide now. Ambition provides the structure necessary for action. It provides a destination, a framework. It makes life exciting. An ambition reduces anxiety, because if you have no ambition everything can mean anything or nothing. And neither those options makes a tranquil spirit.

Choose the better ambitions: the ones that build on inner integrity, character and ability. Not the ones that build status and power. Status you can lose, as well as power. You carry character with you wherever you go, and it allows you to prevail against adversity.

Without inner integrity and character, eventually your scandal, your betrayal, will happen. And you won’t be ready for it. You will lose your status and power.

A simpler approach, whatever your ambitions are. Have these meta-goals with you always. It’s a way of approaching and formulating your ambitions.

  1. Tell the truth especially to yourself
  2. Pray. Be humbled by something bigger than you
  3. Respect yourself
  4. Catalog your flaws for future improvement
  5. Always aware: you’re not different, you’re just as human as everyone else

We are all self-centered after all. You can think of it as a problem or a solution, bad or good. It can lead to selfishness but it can also lead to character, inner integrity, and self-respect.

The key differences lies in choosing the “center” of the self-centeredness. There are only two options: inside or outside, internal or external.

If you build your internal well, your external will follow.

Always centered yourself by focusing and improving on your inside. Not your outside.

One last thing, you have full control of your inside. You can decide and act to improve your character, inner integrity, and self-respect right now.

Originally published at rowi.blog

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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