Don’t Be a Selfish Butthead

Did you read yesterday’s blog? Did you watch the video?
Ok. Then proceed.
Alright, I know the guy appears to be in need of a psychological counselor and never once opens his eyes during the video. I realize this is weird. Yes. It’s weird. Let’s all acknowledge how weird it is.
Ready to move on?
Here’s what I learned from getting over how weird this guy is and watching this video a few times: Follow. Your. Heart.
You seeing, following your highest excitement just means taking your life minute by minute and asking yourself what would make you intensely excited next. It doesn’t mean giving up responsibilities or your job. It’s a matter of acknowledging your own wants and desires, the things that light up your heart, as a practice so you can learn to actually recognize what sparks you up.
It seems I turned that part of myself off for a very long time. I did what others needed, what I thought I SHOULD do, even what others were doing because it felt “selfish” to do anything I wanted. Here’s the thing, though: there’s nothing wrong with being selfish.
(CAR!) – Yes, I know. It’s not cool to be a selfish butthead and do things that only serve you at the expense of others. That’s not the kind of “selfish” I’m talking about.
(GAME ON!) – Doing things that warm your heart, fill up your chest with happiness…well, those are the things that recharge your batteries and give you the levels of joy you need in which to SHARE joy. I am always trying to share my joy, but when I’m running on empty and I keep sharing joy in hopes that MAYBE some will come back to me, it’s no big “you ARE the father” surprise when I come up short on Joy Cash at the check out.
So how does this translate to real life? I’ll tell you how. I have spent the last few weeks since watching this weird, weird video asking myself all day long, “What would make me really excited right now?” And here were some of the answers:
keep-calm-and-eat-spaghetti-for-breakfast1. Pasta for breakfast.
2. Going to Starbucks to work for the afternoon.
3. Watching Ted Talks for an hour.
4. Reacquainting myself with Orange is the New Black, and then having a marathon.
5. Painting my nails.
6. Doing an ab video.
7. Listening to “Turn Down for What” in the car 8 or 9 times in a row.
8. Listening to “Turn Down for What” in my bedroom and making up a short dance to it that I then envision other people are doing with me.
9. Writing letters I have no intention of sending.
10. Putting money into my savings account that I knew I’d have to take back out later this month just because I wanted to see the number in my savings go up.
These aren’t life-altering changes. And once I realized how small the things that bring me excitement are, the easier it got to allow myself to do/eat them. I wasn’t taking the day off to go shop for designer jeans and top it off with a 5 star sushi dinner. I was drinking an extra cup of coffee or trimming one of the rose bushes in the front yard for 10 minutes. THAT’S IT! And as I began giving myself little moments of excitement throughout the day, I gave up judging myself for the things that DIDN’T bring me joy. I washed mine and Abe’s sheets while he was at his dad’s the other day. I put my sheets on my bed. But you know what? I didn’t feel like putting Abe’s sheets on. So I didn’t. I didn’t get down on myself or call myself a bad mother. I just left them sitting on his bed. And they’re still there.
Eventually I’ll put them on and he will be none the wiser that his bed sat unmade while he was gone.
I implore you to ask yourself 5 times a day, “What would get me really excited right now?!” Try to find things you can actually do. And if something you want to do isn’t exactly possible, like quitting your job, then try the next best thing. For example, spend 10 or 15 minutes of your break researching your dream job or looking up dream vacations. It won’t fix things, but it will remind you what exciting feels like. I think if we can remind ourselves throughout the day that we’re supposed to feel good most of the time, we may actually attract more good. (I haven’t been doing this little experiment long enough to prove that little theory right or wrong yet, but I’ll get back to you.)


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