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Focused Vs. Selfish

People are often accused of being selfish, but are they really…? Are they really a person who consciously thinks about how they have no interest in other people's wants or needs? Are they sitting there while thinking how little everyone and everything else means to them? Or are they really unaware of what is really going on and just put more focus into themselves…?

Given the consideration of perspective… It's a rather beautiful question. It is something that is often overlooked when we have an organic, emotional feeling about another person. Let's begin by looking at what the definition of being selfish is. A quick search online gave me this

 definition: (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.

It has been identified in many documents written about success, that successful people only think about what they want to accomplish and how they are going to get there… While the non-successful (or the average) think about all sorts of other things that cloud their focus in direction. So does that make them selfish? Technically so. They are concerned with one's own personal profit or pleasure, so they fit the definition perfectly. But isn't that a little unfair? It seems that because a person is determined about achieving their goals and dreams, they fall into the category of selfish.

But does that make them a bad person all of a sudden? They may have a family, that they take care of… Kids they put through college, a happy Husband or Wife… They've really gone out of their way to take care of the things that are important to them. Or they may not. The thing that makes this topic extraordinarily fascinating, is the natural confusion between being focused and being selfish.

Focus is what makes thoughts become things. It's what makes our dreams become a reality. It's what defines and molds us into who we are. But from that focus and determination, there is often a time that others will consider us as selfish. As we grow older, develop, find our path… our friends will accuse us of not making time for them ergo not being a good friend. Others will say that we have forgotten about them. When most of the time that isn't the case at all, they never left our emotions. How we feel about them is still there, but we have just taken the space we have in our mind and allocated it towards something bigger, something that needs more focus.

On that note, lets talk about the conscious space in our minds… I like to think of the conscious mind as a specific size, let's use a 1 foot squared box as the size of our conscious mind. To begin, we know that if we fill the box up it will eventually become full, and not be able to hold anything more after that. So lets now visualize that box as our conscious mind. It as well can only hold so much conscious thought before it too becomes full and can not contain anything more.

So as we are growing and developing, our conscious minds do not become full due to our minds not having much particular interest to hold onto so many conscious thoughts. The younger mind is pure, spontaneous and open. Now don't confuse this with teaching a young conscious mind structure, repetition, etc… because those are habits. Habits become implanted in the unconscious mind ergo become repetitive nature to the mind which do not require conscious thought over time.

Back to the box… Since our conscious mind is only figuratively the size of a 1 foot squared box. We can come to the conclusion that the box can only fit so much in. This is what brings me back to Focus vs. Selfishness.

So let's use an example for greater context: John Smith is 19 years old, turning 20 next month. He has plenty of friends who he always spends time with, but lately he has been spending more time working and his girlfriend, than he has been with his friends. His friends are starting to get upset with him because he doesn't make time to come hang out, or go out to bars, clubs, etc… with them and they feel as if he is becoming selfish and doesn't care about them anymore.

But what they don't understand, is that John has become more focused on his career, and settling down with his girlfriend. His job is demanding, it takes up a lot of hours during the day and he constantly thinks about it when he gets home from work. It takes up 75% of the space in his conscious box. His girlfriend, who he is very happy with… He checks in with a couple times a day, he makes sure he is available to have dinner with, and engage in how she is feeling, how her day has been, and what she's been up to. That focus takes up 15% of his conscious box. John now has only 10% of the space in his conscious box left to contain, conscious thought.

John also occasionally has to interact with his family, his girlfriends family, take care of his pets, go grocery shopping, pay attention to his surroundings as he is driving, as well as he is starting to think about where he wants to be in 5 years. These are all conscious thoughts as well. But there is only 10% free space left in the conscious box, so it is beginning to get crammed full to the rim. In order for John to take in any other conscious thoughts, like friends, fun time, or anything really for that matter. He would have to remove something from his conscious box in order to add another. So really, is John a bad person?

This is the unique thing about how the mind works. And why it is such a fascinating topic of interest. I personally find that people always have an opinion about someone being selfish, but rarely ever take the time to understand why or what is causing them to think like that? Maybe they aren't consciously selfish and are just so focused on what is important to them that they can't fit any more in. If that's the case, I would agree that it is not fair to have negative thoughts or feelings about another person for achieving their own personal greatness.

Psychology


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