This topic of selfishness vs. selflessness came to me when I was working with some newer leaders in my organization this week; two similar words with extremely different meanings. When thinking about this topic it comes down to, ‘what are your motives?’ Do you focus on yourself or do you focus on others?
All of us are selfish; God designed us this way as a way for needing Him. The only perfect selfless man was Jesus. However, on a secular level we all have a choice to live our life selfishly or selflessly. Is your heart leading or your head leading? The way I see the contrast is this:
– Selfish individuals are easy to spot because they often have a high ego and low self-esteem. The self-absorbed nature is a need for constant attention in order to make oneself feel better. Most who are selfish live their lives in hot pursuit of money, fame, control, status and corporate title. Often times a selfish person struggles with their faith and also lacks purpose in life. Motives are usually about self satisfaction in the moment.
– Selfless individuals are often at peace. You don’t find too many selfless individuals who are basket cases (can never control their emotions). The selfless person often will do more for others than themselves and they don’t look at the personal reward that will come with the act of service. Serving others is a selfless person’s favorite hobby. They know where their faith lives and are blessings to those around them by staying true to themselves.
Because of our fallen nature there is selfishness inside all of us. But are we using that as an excuse to be selfish or a reason to be selfless? God gave us the free will, so that through it, we can choose to love. Putting the needs of our beloved before our own. Love is the most selfless act a human can do.
As I was working with a group this week, it was obvious to me who was thinking selfishly and who was thinking selflessly. It takes a selfless person to build our business. The couple that was saying, ”what can I do to help…, I know I need to do this for…, what area can I improve in…,” is going to build a much larger organization than the one who says, “I can’t wait to get that…, why does that person always say…, I wish they would do this for…” Certainly you can see the motives are different and you can quickly recognize who will grow faster. Statements like these can change with leadership and mentorship but it’s an example and the difference between selfish and selfless motives.
What I love about the-life-business is that as I talk to more and more people, I am finding that our business is entering into people’s hearts faster with more selfless motives because what we promote is living a better life, not just making money. We now have the opportunity to seek out selfless individuals who love to serve and teach them how to expand their audience. And the more they influence others by loving on people, they more they are blessed through our business. But even more important, we get to help those who may be more self-centered by loving on them and leading them to selfless individuals who will serve them and teach them how to serve others. Orrin Woodward would not be where he is as a God fearing man, a husband, a father, a mentor and a leader if it wasn’t for his selflessness. It is because of Orrin’s example that thousands of more leaders are emulating his walk. Your significance in LIFE is dependent on your ability to serve and make an impact so that a piece of you is left behind for future generations. That is your legacy, will you live selflessly?