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Saturday, September 18, 2010

"What's in it for me"?- -Self absorption: Saturated in your own junk.....

Leave Ego aside. If we are too self absorbed, 
we become like a wick saturated in our own oil,
yet not letting others light the lamp.
This results in functional, yet useless lamp.

Okay, I'll admit....I've been guilty of "self absorption". We all are self absorbed to some degree or another. Thinking about our own needs and desires is a motivating factor to keep us plugging along and going forward with our goals and aspirations. This is good! If we lose that sense of self-importance that motivates us, we would sit around and become stagnant.  However sometimes we all go through phases where the self-absorption begins to turn too severe selfishness. When we forget about everything else and make the world revolve around us, we miss out on a lot of things.

During a self-reflection after one of my usual meditation sessions a few months ago, I came upon the realization that a period of time had been based around my self-absorption, instead of what I really *am*.  Common thoughts in my head during this time were "What's in it for ME?" "How do I benefit?" "What do I get if I do this or that?".  I found myself getting frustrated or impatient when things weren't happening fast enough.

As I arose from my meditation bench, I asked myself several things:
1.What do I truly enjoy in life and with other people?
2. What exactly are the needs, goals, and desires that I need for myself?Whtat do I feel is "missing"?
3. What do I consider as "reward"? Will the world end if I don't get the exact rewards I seek?
4. Can I still be able to share with others, and still attend to my needs, goals, and desires?  

Do you find yourself frequently asking things like "What's in it for me?", "How will this benefit me? What can I get if I agree to that?".  Granted, I run a business and I "should" be asking these questions to benefit my business. But I'm not talking about finding ways to market my business or finding opportunities for the benefit of my business. I'm talking about doing things merely for the benefit of my Ego. I'm talking about manifesting things only if we're guaranteed some type of reward, money, or recognition. I'm talking about only paying attention to activities or people only if they have a role in benefitting our Ego and personal gains.  

Let's ask ourselves.....When was the last time we manifested something wonderful for *other people* other than ourselves? When was the last time we enjoyed helping others without the expectation of reward? When was the last time we willingly gave your time instead of feeling that we wasted it? When was the last time we accepted a long line at the bank or something breaking down instead of getting upset that the world isn't doing our bidding at the time we demand it? When was the last time we asked how the other person was doing before talking about our own things?

Also, let's listen to any situation, listen to how many times  the word "I" comes into thoughts. If we find ourselves always asking "What's in it for me??", acknowledge it and think about your next step. Think outside your box and see things from the outside looking in. Think about the other person and/or their situation as well.  I'm not saying that we should sell oursevles short....on the contrary.... I'm just saying "Get your Ego out of the equation". Or...."Get your head out of your...." Well, you get the picture.

Although I never outwardly and rudely asked out loud "What's in it for me?" whenever situations or opportunities arose, I did find myself thinking it a lot. Things became motivating factors only if there was reward. For a bit of time, I lost a little bit of who I really was and I didn't notice I was doing it.  I decided to re-invest my time in doing what I enjoy and sharing with others....all the while still attending to my needs and goals. I remembered that giving away my time was not necessarily "wasting" it. I remembered that the world wouldn't end if I didn't get rewards all the time. I remembered the joys of knowing that great people are blessings in our midst, not merely network spokes on the benefit hub.

We all can benefit from toning down our self-absorption.......You might be surprised that when we give ourselves for the greater good of others, the benefits we seek show up on their own.

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