Yes, the world needs more self-centered people. More people who know what they stand for. More people who believe so much in what they believe in that they’re willing to speak out. More people who believe that taking care of one’s self comes before all else in order to be of service to humankind.
I’ve never been more convinced of this idea of becoming a more self-centered person than I was this year.
Struggling with chronic insomnia for several months, I had to slow down and start thinking more about what I needed. After confronting some difficult situations in my personal life, I recovered slowly and am happy to report that I’m back in action.
But, there were several months when I could do little more than take care of myself. I certainly couldn’t think about the bigger picture before taking care of me.
How do you know if you’re a self-centered person?
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, everyone is self-centered by design. So, it’s actually a matter of what you’re centered on that I’m concerned about.
credit: Wikimedia Commons
At the base of the pyramid, you have to fulfill your physiological needs. If you’re reading this blog post and you need food, water, or rest, stop reading now and find the nearest shelter or food bank where you can take a break and satisfy these needs. The rest of this post is irrelevant until you’re taken care of. If you can’t find a good non-profit to help you, send me an email and I’ll help you find a place in your area.
At the next level of the pyramid, we have safety needs. If you are without housing or you’re in an abusive situation, find a community organization that can get you what you need. Again, if you can’t find a good non-profit to help you, send me an email and I’ll help you find a place in your area.
At the middle of the pyramid, we have concerns for belongingness and love. Good non-profit organizations realize that people need help at different stages of Maslow’s hierarchy, so they often collaborate with other organizations to get people what they need, including belongingness. If your safety and physiological needs are met, then you can start by trying to find a group of like-minded people online or in your local community.
Now, we’re getting to the part of the pyramid that I’m moving out of and that’s esteem. After we paid off our debt, I started a new business about a month later because I felt I needed to accomplish something new. I love what I do!
Finally, we’re at self-actualization, which is new to us as of this month. I realized that it’s OK to use some of my waking hours for creativity and spontaneity. In reality, I have all the time in the world to do whatever it is I want because I’m self-employed, but how I might use my time differently is another story.
When I applied Maslow’s hierarchy to our personal finance and entrepreneurial journey, I saw the theory in a new light.
When it comes to esteem, I feel I’ve accomplished a lot and I don’t really need to strive for the “double comma club” or “seven figure business owner.” I think the pursuit of my own financial gain would be a lonely, anxiety-inducing endeavor that would be self-centered in all the wrong ways. I want to apply myself in new ways, creative activities that could serve the greater good (hence the recent move to self-actualization).
Seeing as how we’re in the fortunate position of having some money in the bank and making some progress on the path to financial freedom, ew have time to decide my next big move. What do we really want to be doing with our time? Where could the world most benefit from our assistance?
Why should you become a more self-centered person?
Planet Earth needs your help. Your fellow humans need your help. And, I know it’s possible to make progress on one’s personal goals and still have a greater impact. Self-centered has taken on a negative connotation, but it is self-aware, self-actualizing people who have their financial, physical, and perhaps even emotional needs met so they can make progress big-picture issues.
How do you become a more self-centered person?
As my mentor Joe says, if you’re too busy looking down at what you have now, you aren’t looking ahead to what might have in the future. Consider where you gaze upon this hierarchy; are you looking at the base or at a higher level?
Borrowing a term from Mr. Groovy and his opus, The Groovy Guide to Financial Independence, you have to be a “personal responsibility warrior” and take care of yourself first or else you can’t move up in the hierarchy.
How do I plan to become a more self-centered person?
We’re taking care of ourselves, so what’s next? How do we want to self-actualize?
I’ve started considering where the big thinkers, past and present, spent their time and money: transportation, construction, energy, and finance. I’m talking about Vanderbilt (and Musk), Carnegie, Rockefeller (and Musk, again), and JP Morgan (and the person who invented cryptocurrency). These guys made big moves in ways that I have found difficult to fathom before I started trying to free my mind to focus on the bigger picture of self-actualization.
With enough space, time, and thought on the matter, I know I can achieve my full potential. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what that looks like. So, I’m not being hasty when it comes to the move to self-actualization.
I’m sticking with the projects I have today. I’m not starting any new hobbies. Actually, I might eliminate some side hustles that have likely been more distractions than anything. I’m also cutting back on Internet usage, except for work-related reasons.
I seek to create some boredom, some space in my day rather than filling every minute with distractions. I think of boredom is the path to being a self-centered, self-actualizing person who has the mental capacity to contribute to the planet and humanity.
Where’s this blog going?
In some respects, we’re at the end of the road with personal finance. We paid off debt. We’re investing half of our income for a fully-funded lifestyle change. I don’t know what else needs to be said about our money.
I plan to continue writing offline and will publish occasionally the rest of this year. I’m using this time to dig deeper, to minimize self-imposed distractions (this is a biggie!), and to consider what 2019 might look like with a focus on the big picture.
Note: New here? Check out our start here page for an overview of what we’ve been doing since April 2015 and how we arrived at this point.