When “Selfish” Is Unselfish.

The word 'selfish' instantly conjures up negative thoughts.


The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘selfish’ as - “lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.”

What if we stretched the definition?

Or applied it to one’s health?

It is fair to be selfish at times when it comes to our health?

The negativity of selfishness seems ok to be flipped when it is directed to other people. Such as our families.

Society deems it ok for us to want ‘more’ for our kids, our partners and… to be selfish about it.

And so here begins the confusion…

‘Sacrificing’ yourself is different to be selfish.

It is potentially more damaging.

You can’t always put others first at the sacrifice of your own happiness and health.

Note I said ‘always’.

In fact, making your health and happiness a priority will see more rewards for your family than sacrificing it.

How often have we heard about the tired and cranky parent coming home short fused with the kids. Or too tired on the weekend to do anything with the family.

Health and Fitness provides benefit to mind and body. Those benefits extend to all those around you.

Maybe the word ‘chiefly’ in our definition should be changed to... concerned ‘appropriately’ with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

It seems if someone’s ‘priorities’ differ from others they are the recipient of criticism or judgement.

Placing a priority on one's own health and happiness is a means of placing priority on those around us, our families, our kids.

Sometimes it’s ok to be a little selfish… especially when it comes to health and happiness.

Matt O'Brien