I guess we all have this illusion in our heads that the world needs us so much that we’re willing to ignore ourselves in order to save the world. No, the world doesn’t need us and it can manage just fine without us.
If, right now, you stop whatever you do towards saving the world, the world will be just fine.
I know that sounds a bit harsh and it may be hard for you to accept it. And it’s going to feel impossible to accept it the more you feel like you have to save the world.
The world doesn’t need your help and you should stop using it as an excuse for ignoring your health, career, family, and friends.
The friend who used the world as an excuse
I used to have this friend who was putting everyone else first and never prioritizing himself. He also had this big and idealistic vision about building a shelter for homeless and old people so he could take care of them.
I was friends with him for around 4 or 5 years and looking back at the time we spent together, in these 4 or 5 years, nothing changed. He was still focused on others and was still trying to save the world, but at the same time he was never allocating time for the things he wanted to do.
I remember he wanted to build a dancing school and teach dancing. I remember he wanted to learn programming so he can build a digital platform where dancers from all around the world could meet. But he never did those things. He was focused so much on saving the world around him that his world was left behind.
While helping others is great (and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it), ignoring your needs and wants is bad.
You should help as many people as you want, just prioritize yourself first.
Prioritize yourself first and then, after you make sure you are happy with yourself, focus on the world around you.
Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in your current reality, with big dreams and goals, but with no resources to get there, because you didn’t take the time you focus on yourself. Just like my friend, who was dreaming about the shelter, the dancing school, and the digital platform, but never focused on improving himself.
The bad thing about trying to save the world
Think about the things that you want to do.
Maybe you want to write a book. Maybe you want to travel the world. Maybe you want to set a new world record. Whatever you want to do, think about that and imagine having it.
And keep imagining a bit more.
How does that feel? How do you feel having that specific thing in your life?
I bet it’s a great feeling.
Now, come back to the present moment, where that thing is missing and imagine you’re going to die at the age of 80 without having it in your life.
That’s the bad thing about trying to save the world. You focus too much on what’s important to others that you ignore the things important to you. And you ignore them so much that eventually, you’ll get old and die without having in your life the things that you wanted to have.
It’s going to involve regret, sadness, desperation, madness, and misery. You’ll be old and your life will be a passive hell, wishing you could have done more but with a reality saying exactly the opposite.
Are you going to be happy just with saving the world?
When you realize you’re using the world as an excuse for ignoring yourself, I believe this is an important question.
As long as ignoring yourself doesn’t bring you pain and suffering. As long as you won’t end up wondering what if … As long as you won’t expect the world to help you back.
As long as helping the world is a genuine thing, then helping the world is not a bad thing to do.
But if you have all these things that you want to do, then prioritizing yourself is not a bad thing either and you should start doing it.
Before you save the world, focus on yourself
Focus on your emotional, mental, and physical health. Focus on your career, skills, and goals. Focus on your family, friends, and relationships.
Before you save the world, prioritize the person you expect to give you all the things that you want and need: yourself.
The paradox is, there’s no world to save if there’s nobody to save it. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of those around you. And if everyone takes care of themselves, then there’s no need for you to take care of everyone else.
Therefore, you save the world by taking care of yourself.
When you focus on yourself, you inspire others to focus on themselves. And you do it just by simply allocating time and energy for your own health, career, and relationships. There’s no bigger secret behind it.
Focusing on yourself doesn’t mean being selfish
Focusing on yourself means prioritizing yourself.
You can still help others. You can still save the world. You can still influence the lives of those around you and help them live better lives.
But first, focus on yourself. Focus on what you want and need, get those things, and then share them with others.
Being selfish doesn’t mean prioritizing yourself.
Being selfish means having results and not sharing them with those around you. Being selfish means becoming successful and ignoring your friends who’ve been trying to monetize their passion but haven’t found a way of doing it yet.
You’re not selfish when you focus on yourself.
When you focus on yourself, you are brave enough to STOP ignoring yourself and making yourself a priority.
What makes you keep ignoring yourself?
Why do you focus so much on others?
What makes you resistant to helping yourself?
When you look at what you want out of your life right now, how do you see things change in the next three years, if you keep focus on saving the world?
Think about these questions and meditate on them.
With love and optimism,