The Difference in Being Selfish, Selfless and Self-Invested

PinExt The Difference in Being Selfish, Selfless and Self Invested

hug self The Difference in Being Selfish, Selfless and Self InvestedHow do you approach living life to the fullest?

The approach you choose is very important.  There are a couple of ways that seem right at first, but they lead to dead-ends.

This is where Super-Charged Living stands out.  It creates a great life that has staying power.  It leads to a lasting joy and significance that is satisfying.

For me, Super-Charged Living is a journey.  It is an adventure.  One where I’m constantly fine-tuning my course to ensure I’m getting the absolute most from life.

The other day I heard some terms mentioned and contrasted that helped me clarify my mental picture of Super-Charged Living even further.

Let’s Look at Being Selfish, Selfless and Self-Invested

As you might have guessed, the three terms discussed were selfish, selfless and self-invested.  They were being talked about in a totally different context than living life to the fullest, but it struck me that they have a lot of importance here as well.

Selfish and selfless characterize a couple of common approaches to living a full life.  However, I would argue that these are not sustainable paths and in the end leave people wondering where they went wrong.  Let me unpack the two a little so you can see what I mean.

The Selfish Approach to Living Life to the Fullest

The image that comes to my mind when I think about the selfish approach to living life to the fullest is the jet set lifestyle.  This is the “its all about me” approach.  People living this way journey through life seeking pleasure.  They have a great time partying and living it up.

They spontaneously chase after whatever makes them feel good.  They believe the best life is living in the here and now.  They ask, “Why put off until tomorrow what you can enjoy today?”  They live for the moment with very little concern or worry for the future.

At first, this can seem like an appealing way to live.  It is carefree, adventurous and fun.  It is an escape from the day-to-day hassles we all deal with.  However, it also has its costs.  Throwing responsibility and the ties that bind to the wind may seem freeing at first, but it can backfire.

The disadvantages of the selfish approach:

  • Self-centeredness ruins relationships which often leads to loneliness and regret later in life
  • Takes lots of money to sustain which generally leads to piles of debt and financial issues
  • Fast living takes its toll on the body which leaves one with chronic health issues
  • Left with nothing to show for years of living and end up realizing it was chasing after the wind

Generally, these people blame others for bad outcomes in their life.  When people try to speak correction or guidance into their lives, they dismiss the wise as sticks in the mud.

All in all, a selfish approach to living life to the fullest may seem fun for awhile, but it will likely lead to a life of loneliness, regret and boring “glory day” stories.

The Selfless Approach to Living Life to the Fullest

At the other end of the spectrum is the selfless approach.  This avenue is probably less common, but still pursued by some.  In it, people put everyone else’s needs above theirs.  They are the consummate servants.

The selfless ones are generally pursuing significance.  They feel the best way to have a life of meaning and purpose is to do all that you can for others.  They throw themselves into the cause of their choice with passion.  You really want these people on your side because they are absolutely tireless.

You often find these people hanging around churches, charities and other humanitarian efforts.  They give until it hurts literally.  They can never say no and over time this begins to take its toll.

The disadvantages of the selfless approach:

  • Selflessness leads to burnout and disillusionment
  • Often ruins relationships because the individual is never available or invested
  • Gives away all their money helping their cause and usually winds up broke and in debt
  • Winds up with health issues because they never take time to care for themselves

Ultimately, these people often wind up blaming the organizations they serve for using them up and burning them out.  They leave with a bad taste in their mouths running away to sulk and put salve on their wounds.

Did you notice that both the selfish and selfless approaches to living life to the fullest have basically the same disadvantages? 

They are different paths to the same empty, lonely, powerless and joyless place.

The Self-Invested Approach to Living Life to the Fullest

This leads us to the self-invested approach to living life to the fullest.  This is where Super-Charged Living excels because it employs a long-term perspective.  I am convinced it is the best approach for regular people with real lives.

Investing is the act of committing something (time, money, energy, effort) toward an objective with the expectation of a profit or worthwhile result.  Self-investing then is putting in adequate time and effort to better one’s self to the point where you can expect a better life as a result.

The self-invested person realizes that all facets of life are interconnected.  You can’t live life to the fullest while failing at relationships or finances or finding purpose or healthy living.  If you do, then you are living below what is possible.

You learn to say no to some things in order to say yes to even better things.  In other words, the self-invested person sets boundaries.  For example, they know that relationships are important and that you can’t really give to others effectively when your cup is empty.

The ADVANTAGES of self-invested living are:

  • It is sustainable over an entire lifetime
  • It nurtures and encourages deep, meaningful relationships
  • It builds a person up instead of tearing them down
  • It is fun, rewarding and exciting without being irresponsible

Super-Charged Living is self-invested living.  It is taking care of yourself and what you have so you can maximize your effectiveness for others.  It is the best life possible!

Choose to Be Self-Invested for a Great Life

There are truly big differences between being selfish, selfless and self-invested.  Which will you choose?  If you are interested in living life to the absolute fullest, then please stick around and learn more about Super-Charged Living. 

How have your experienced selfish, selfless and self-invested living?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

Photo by Mr.Thomas

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PinExt The Difference in Being Selfish, Selfless and Self Invested

4 thoughts on “The Difference in Being Selfish, Selfless and Self-Invested

  1. Wow. You really glossed over that conclusion. The importance of self-investment or how to really be fulfilled is to also invest in some sort of service to something beyond that which serves you directly. In this I mean volunteering time and energy (not just money – that’s a cop out) to an organization that helps others. I would argue that the rest is all semantics.

  2. Nice article about realities of life, it’s like I want to reflect and see how do I really define living life to the fullest, or I’m just going with the flow where my life takes time. I believe life is a journey, but I haven’t really thought about living life to the fullest in a deeper sense. thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the word self invested…I teeter between the freedom of selfishness and the torment and obligations of selflessness, to which does not work. Since I have begun to place boundaries regarding what I do for others, I have had much backlash …..from manipulative persons nonetheless, but some who are too needy, and just overall wanting too much from me that I cannot give and will never give the way I did in the past. Manipulative people and this concept go together… Everyone is selfish to some degree, but in the end you have to assess what you can do for someone and whether or not they can do it for themselves….and at times…the ridiculousness of the request…..not everyone is genuine when they say they need you, they just want to control you or get over……I myself do not want to continue to be an enabler and codependent…so I will continue to listen to my voice to tell me how to act in these circumstances.

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