I had a weird dream last night.
The dream left me with a burning curiosity.
In this dream, I was dying.
And I was perfectly okay with it.
No desire to stick around for unfinished business.
I was just letting go and moving on.
And I woke up with the realization that I’m not afraid to die anymore. I don’t want to die, mind you… but when it happens, so be it. I’m not scared of it.
But it also left me wondering…
What’s the biggest deathbed regret that people have these days?
So I Googled ‘deathbed regrets’ and this popped up first:
“#1 I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Yeah, that sounds about right.
I don’t change my goals because others expect me to.
I make time for myself first: My own goals, my own projects, my own health and well-being.
I never let other people tell me how to live.
It could be, if I stopped there.
But I don’t.
Because one thing I’ve discovered after a few years of practicing this type of “selfishness” is this:
When I make sure that I’m happy and healthy, I end up with *WAY* more time and energy to help others out with their problems.
The fewer problems I have, because of my “selfishness,” the more useful and available I am to my family, my friends, and you, my readers and customers.
I need 8 hours of sleep each night and about 2 hours during the day to make sure that I eat right, get some exercise, and do my daily reading.
That leaves 14 hours every day to help other people reach their goals.
And I have the energy and mental focus to be productive during that 14 hours because of my “selfish” 10 hours.
If I ever cut into that 10 hours I need for me, thinking it will help somebody else…
It all falls apart.
So I never do it.
I know a lot of “selfless” and very “giving” people who never have time or energy to actually help the people they care about.
And it’s sad to watch.
They don’t set their own direction in life. They don’t take care of their own physical, emotional and mental needs.
And then they end up sick, tired, broke, and completely incapable of being useful to anyone – even themselves.
People who refuse to help themselves first end up being the neediest people out there. And it’s heartbreaking because they usually start from a position of wanting to be helpful to others.
But then… at the end…
They realize their mistake.
They regret all that wasted time.
They regret their misguided efforts to “help” others by sacrificing themselves…
All because of a fear of being seen as “selfish” for taking care of themselves.
I wouldn’t wish that end on anybody.