Self-centered. That’s a bad word, right? You hear of someone being self-centered and you think they are selfish, stuck up, snobby, right? It depends. I want to explain how being self-centered can be a positive thing. From personal experience, I sometimes find that I am too focused on others. Why aren’t they doing what I want them to do? Why aren’t they paying more attention to me, working more, eating healthy, working out? Why aren’t they able to understand me? This past year I noticed that my focus has been on everything and everyone else around me except for me! I wasn’t focusing on what I could do to improve my life or solve my problems, but I was focusing on how others and other things could do it for me. The result was pretty unsuccessful. I wasn’t able to change or influence other people to get what I want. In fact, when we want to change others so bad, it’s usually us that needs changing. At least, that’s what I learned. So, I began to focus more on myself and become more self-centered, you could say. I started to eat healthier, cook for myself, go to the gym, take walks, journal, and just hang—by myself. When I started to put my focus more on me, I stopped noticing when other people didn’t do something for me, or weren’t there for me. What was important was that I was there for me. An added bonus to being more self-centered was that I began to give to others. As I started cooking for myself, I began to have the desire to cook for others. As I spent time by myself, I wanted to spent time with others. As I helped and took care of myself, I wanted to help and take care of others. You get the idea. So now when I hear someone calling someone else selfish or self-centered I think, good! Good for them for realizing that they need to learn how to focus on themselves and take good care of themselves. Because, well, no one else is going to do it for you.
As it’s a New Year, a lot of people are starting to write New Year’s resolutions. This has made me think of things that I want to change in my life and about myself. A lot of times we make lists (or I do) of things that we don’t have, and things we need. We need to lose weight, a new relationship, more friends, a new phone, car, new clothes. We may, very well, need these things. But, what if there are things that we think we need to change, but we really don’t have to? Bear with me here. Have you heard of the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” If you’re anything like me, I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve my health, fitness, relationships, life, etc. Although there are things that we certainly do need to change, there are things that we don’t. We don’t need to change if we are happy, healthy, and satisfied with how things are. Throughout my life I’ve received many comments about my weight. “You’re in such great shape. You’re too thin. You’ve gained weight. You’ve lost weight! Maybe you should change what you’re doing.” Although those comments were just simple observations and opinions, sometimes we begin to believe that we need to change just because we are told to. Think about advertisements. Especially around the holidays, we see so many sales and everyone around us is shopping and buying new things. I thought this year I wanted to buy a new computer, but then I thought, do I really need it? My current computer is working just fine. That’s a pretty basic example, but it can be applied to anything. I feel like, especially nowadays, we are always programmed to want new and better things. No one ever tells us, “hey if that pair of jeans fits, just wear it for three years, you don’t need new ones!” Sometimes I feel caught up in wanting ‘new’ and ‘better’ I don’t always stop and think hey, I’m pretty grateful for what I have now. I have it pretty good. No, I have it great.