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Redefining Selfish

Personally, some of the people whom I have most admired in my 26 years can be described as caring, hospitable, and selfless. I hope that you have some people like that in your life, as well. However, that last adjective (selfless), I want to explore a little bit, today. Actually, I want to dig into it’s exact opposite. Whom do you think of when you hear the word, “selfish?” I think of infants who’s (though they know no better) every demand is for them right now, this instant! My mind also goes to specific celebrities who may have just forgotten all of those who sacrificed for them on their way, “to the top.” Finally, I think of myself. I can’t tell you all the times that I have thought of my desires first and foremost before my wife, parents, siblings, or anyone whom I may be interacting with on any particular day.


Yet, I do believe that there are specific elements of any successful individual’s life that can be characterized as selfish from a distance, that may not actually be that way at all when reexamined. In fact, I believe that two distinct individuals could be partaking in the exact same activities, with the heart and/or motives being the chief differentiating factor.


Follow along with me in this very realistic example: Luke is the father of 4 kids and is often seen at Anytime Fitness during the hours when many parents are getting their kids ready for school. He is a known as a super nice man, but a rumor has started around the gym that he cares more about his physique than his family. “Selfish,” some say. “His poor wife,” others chide in. What they don’t know is that it is incredibly important to both Luke and his wife Ashley that they are physically around for their 4 kids and model healthy behaviors to their 2 boys and 2 girls. They’ve agreed that Luke can train in the morning so that he is more present for school pick-up/in the evening while Ashley goes on her run in the stroller with little Tatum.


Can you see where I’m going with this? Another way we often hear it illustrated is the proverbial example that you are unable to help someone get their oxygen mask on in a freefalling aircraft carrier, unless you are amply fitted with one yourself.


Think through this concept as you progress through your next week: It is difficult to continually serve from a cup that is empty. If, however, you are “feeding” yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. SO AS TO be able to pour into those around you, that’s where I find the most personal success and fulfillment. How can high school assistant football coach, Joe, mentor his freshman QB unless he is also being instructed on how to grow as a man from his Head Coach? Which school is recent grad, Tasha, more likely to succeed teaching at? One with a “rat-race” mentality where all the teachers shoot for tenure, solely? Or an establishment where relationships are fostered and Tasha is able to present struggles and find solutions from 40-year-vet, Principal Dawn?


To bring this full-circle, I have found the most satisfaction in life after I discover my “why.” But purpose, I’d argue, transcends into the mundane things that we do every day, as well! Our drive should trickle down into any decision we make, large or small. Is it selfish to spend 15 minutes meal prepping for the next day? Maybe. Or more likely, you are making wise decisions in order to fuel your body to adequately work, play, and perform for the following 24 hours!

So, the next time that you feel guilty for undertaking something that seems a little too self-centered, I’m asking you to reflect on what it could lead to, if you follow through. We’ve touched on physical fitness, but how about the other components of your life, as well? Could reading 10 pages of a financial freedom book enable you to teach better stewardship principles to your kids? Heck to the yes!


My last caveat is to then “follow-through on the follow-throughs.” You said that you wanted to lose 40 lbs in order to be present in your kids’ lives. Now BE that presence in their lives. You decided to get up 10 minutes earlier to pray and meditate. Now that that time has passed and you’ve mentally prepared, go attack your day with unprecedented tenacity!


I’m curious, what perceived “selfish” behaviors have you undergone that have benefitted your life and those whom you love! Please share!

Until next time,

-Brock Baumgarn CA, Nutrition Consultant, Health 1st Chiropractic

2 Join the Conversation

  1. Kathy Flogstad says
    Jan 27, 2021 at 3:44 PM

    Brock, beautiful and articulately spoken. No wonder Becca said you were good at blogging. There was a lot of deep soul searching in there. I loved it. May God continue to bless your and Becca's lives. Miss you all.🥰

    • says
      Jan 27, 2021 at 10:24 AM

      Thanks so much for the feedback Kathy!

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