In our best self-interest

Do you remember situations when you asked yourself, which action will work best in my self-interest?

I am sure you do, we all try to navigate life the way that it will benefit our interest, don’t we?

We are not pain seekers. We want to live a good life!

But, you could also imagine a situation when getting a short-term win can bring long-term lost, couldn’t you?

We are living now in a world that is full of the voices playing on our self-interest instinct.

Do it now, do it quickly, it is good for you, you will feel great and you will be happy…

But is this really true?

Let’s look at some examples.

The most clear to me is an example of consumptive loan.

Take the money now, use your credit card and buy whatever you desire! You will feel good, you will be happy, you will have better status…

Another example is entertainment.

Come and enjoy, don’t work too hard, you deserve some fun, you deserve to have a life…

What about food and drinks? Alcohol, sugared drinks, ice-cream all shown as cool, sporty and healthy…

Please, understand me correctly. I am not starting a crusade against loans, against entertainment or against comfort food or drinks. Not at all. One of my teachers during my study used to say that everything in the world can be used as medication or as a deadly poison, it is all a question of timing and quantity…

I just want to trigger our thinking. Could it be that what we think at first to be in our self-interest in the long run could turn against us?

What if I will tell you that sharing is in your best self-interest? Or doing more than you are paid for? Or investing instead of spending? Doesn’t it feel contra intuitive?

If I share I will have less… Why should I work more than I am paid for? I can’t invest, I do not have money to do so…

It sure does…

But please trust me! If you want to live a good life, if you want to be respected, healthy, financially free and fulfilled you will need to rethink short-term gains versus long-term results. You will need to learn to see yourself in the future!

One could say that life is short and unpredictable so why should we care? Well, it might be true for some individuals, but in general it is not true.

Life is short, but it is long enough! Average life expectation is growing rapidly and in many places around the world it will reach an average of 90 years in the near future…

Mahatma Gandhi said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

The definition of learning is to acquire knowledge through study, experience, or being taught. The good question is: “being taught by whom?” By marketing specialists? By politicians?

Therefore my advice is to become a good student. To collect knowledge, experience and lessons from all sources and to ponder about it, to analyze it and in the end to come to your own conclusions about what is truly in your best self-interest.

Don’t let short-term gains ruin your long-term results.

In our best self-interest I would like to finish with the words of Jim Rohn: “We should learn not to spend major time on minor things as well as we should learn not to spend major money on the minor things”.

Wishing you fantastic week!

Dealing with difficulties

Last week was quite challenging for me. Not only was I traveling a lot and working long hours, but I had to stop some associations and deliver some true but not very positive messages.

When you run businesses quite often you have to make difficult decisions. Decisions that can have an impact on other people’s lives. When it happens, even though I know the decision is right, still it is hard and heavy to carry it out. It makes me feel lonely.

Have you experienced similar feelings? Feelings of loneliness when you have to make tough, difficult decisions?

When it happens to me I need more than ever to have my moments with positive, encouraging messages.

For me it is usually a seminar or a book of my favorite speaker or author. Les Brown, Jim Rohn, Tony Robins, Zig Zigler. You know what I mean! Sometimes it is not sufficient.

If this doesn’t help me, I am going to my cave where I can be with myself. I am going through the lessons I learned and evaluating what happened. Most of the time it is enough to get back to a positive attitude, but sometimes even this does not work.

Then I need someone close to me to give me encouragement and assurance. This one is tough as I need to open myself. I need to show that I am vulnerable. At such a moment it is good to have a real friend. Someone who will accept my moment of weakness without misusing it and without judging. I am lucky as my best friend is my wife. She has this fantastic ability to encourage me without putting me down!

It is quite normal that sooner or later we have to face difficult choices. Choices that can shake our self-believe, self-confidence.

My strategy for situations like this is to go through the steps I mentioned before.

  • Go to the Masters and listen to the wisdom, positive messages and energy.
  • Go to myself and evaluate the lessons I learned.
  • Go to my partner, my friend and open myself.

I know it works for me and you are welcome to use it for yourself. But this is not the main lesson. The main lesson is to realize that in the circle of life we will meet both positive and negative and it is better to be prepared and to have a plan what to do when difficulties will face us. In the end we will always find a way, but if we are prepared it will take minutes or hours not months or years!

Celebrate and enjoy…

It is interesting that we focus more on our mistakes and failures than on our right decisions and victories. It does not make sense to me! When you look at an average life we are making more right decisions than wrong ones and we have more victories than failures.

Otherwise we would not survive as individuals and as a human race!

Therefore I think it is time to change the focus and be more conscious about all that we are doing right!

In the management schools I was taught to catch employees on doing something right and praise them.

In my opinion this is precisely what we need to do to ourselves. We should be alert and we need to catch ourselves on doing something good more often, on making the right decision, on achieving our small or big victories.

We not only need to catch ourselves on doing that, but we should praise ourselves, celebrate and enjoy it!

I do not mean that we should pretend that we do not make mistakes! I think we should learn from our mistakes. There are 2 very important questions we need to ask ourselves whenever we notice that something went wrong. The first question is why did it happen? The second question is what can I do to not repeat this mistake in the future?

But when we made the right decision, when we reached our small or big victory, why shouldn’t we praise ourselves, celebrate and enjoy it? It will shift the focus from what we are doing wrong to what we are doing right! It will give a boost to our self-confidence. Our self-esteem will grow and we will be more motivated to make the right decisions and reach our victories in the future!

This makes more sense to me than beating myself up over mistakes and failures!

So let’s stop beating ourselves up with past mistakes and let’s celebrate and enjoy all that we are doing well!

This is one small good change we can work on to make our lives even better!