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JACK’S BLOG – Are you selfish enough?

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“People who don’t take advice cannot wait to give advice”- Jack Yuen

Trust everyone to be selfish

I know a lot about losing money.

I have lost a lot by giving loans of time and money… and watching them turn into gifts. My wife still berates me about my flawed judgement of character.

But I still trust everyone. Although, with my experiences, it is now with a filter.

I trust everyone – to behave with their own self interests in heart.

Using this filter of trust, I am never disappointed in people. And I am always proven right.

My ancestors were selfish

Darwin suggested that I am the result of survival mutations. I certainly know that of all the people who died without passing on their genes, my ancestors were not one of them.

 I am here because every single one of my ancestors chose their survival over someone else.

If one of them have given up their life for someone else – I would not be here.

The myth of giving happiness

“Make me happy”

I have given up asking people to make me happy. Even my wife says to me “Go make yourself HAPPY…”

Nowadays, I just go for a ride.

Some of the happiest times in my life have been times of deepest pain. It is not easy getting into a breakaway and staying there. I need to dish out the pain to myself and my fellow riders are surely doing the same thing to me.

I am not asking for them to make me happy. Yet, if we are successful and the ‘break’ stays away – we all become happy on the podium.

I am very selfish with my happiness. I receive lots of it – but I do not intentionally try to give anyone happiness. I have found that my success rate in making people happy SUCKS.

Somehow, if everything that someone does, makes me happy – then there seems no need to make them happy anymore.

It already makes them happy just by giving me HEAPS.

Are you independent or codependent

‘Romeo and Juliet’ lured generations of couples into the death spiral of ‘neediness’.  

“…will you die for me? – because I will surely die for you…without you I am nothing”

It is no wonder that when marriages split, there is no dying for each other. Rather, they are trying to kill each other.

This backlash of grabbing rather than sharing comes at the end of a relationship built on the shaky foundations of selflessness and codependence.

Bill and Melinda Gates were married in 1994. I don’t see them trying to kill each other anytime soon. Bill’s parents gave them a sculpture of two birds, sitting side-by-side and staring at the horizon. That seems to be the secret. Two independent creatures with their own wings – but going in the same direction.

The joys of low maintenance

Parenting can be one of the most challenging endeavours in life.

I went to engineering school. But I never went to parenting school. I just remembered what my parents did with me, and judged it good enough to pass on. I was lucky.

Control is the ‘go to’ tool for most parents. It is for the kid’s own good….Looking after them and being their personal slave and chauffeur – this is the way of what looks like selfless parents.

In reality, lots of parents are unconsciously just building a false identity of themselves by using the children. And the kids know it.

The circle of codependence begins.

Sometimes, parents get lucky and the kids chisel out their own lives as they focus on their own selfish independence. It then becomes ‘low maintenance’ all around.

If you have ever been saddled with high maintenance people, you will know the relief of someone who is ‘low maintenance’. And if your children are all ‘low maintenance’, it is a joy.

I know – because I have 3 of them.

Who does the lifesaver look after first?

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I can swim – but I am far from a knowledgeable swimmer. If I saw a bather in trouble out in the ocean, I would not jump into the surf to stage a rescue mission. I would just call a lifesaver.

The first rule for a surf lifesaver is to look after number one. That is why they train not to get too close to a struggling swimmer. And if they do get into the clutches of a panicked swimmer – how to slip away.

The safest life-saving technique is to push a flotation device towards the struggling swimmer – who can then use it to stay afloat. The lifesaver still maintains a distance and pulls the rescued swimmer to shore.

How good is selfishness?

I don’t like giving advice. I just like telling stories.

The best story is always your own life story. No one else has the stories that have made you who you are. You own those stories. But you must be truly selfish and take ownership of them to be able to share them with meaning.

Then it becomes a great story.

Otherwise it is just “I should or could have done this” and you should have done that.

Not good for anybody.