With that in mind, here are seven more acts of enlightened self-interest that work for you, whatever your altitude:
Decide for yourself
Whether you withdraw or participate, sit on the fence or nail your colours to the mast you are making a decision. Not-deciding is a choice. Whatever the outcome relish your ability and power to choose. Own your decision, and its consequences.
Care for yourself
To care for yourself; you have to work out what you need. This is different from what people tell you (or try to sell you). It might take a while to discover what works best for you. Whether it's more sleep or more chocolate, give yourself permission to experiment and try things out. Do it for your yourself.
Act for yourself
Only you can act for you, regardless of the acceptance or rejection of others. Others can try to act on your behalf, or in your best interests, but this will lead to resentment, eventually. Be aware of who you put on pedestals and give authority to. If they are on a pedestal where does that put you? Only you have the right, and responsibility to act for yourself.
Know your Agenda
Engaging with others without being clear about your purpose and intentions leaves you open to being unduly influenced, and ending up serving the agenda of others. An easy way to clarify your own agenda is to ask, "What's important to me, in this situation?" then allow yourself to articulate your priorities. Unless you spell them out how can they be taken into account alongside the priorities of others?
Take the initiative
In other words, ask for forgiveness, rather than permission. Assuming you aren't trampling all over the rights of others then this is a healthy starting point for taking action. It's easy to defer to others and await permission. Only later you may discover they were waiting for you or not thinking about the situation at all. Don't get stuck at a broken or imaginary stop light. Use your judgement and take action based on your own permissions and rights. Evaluate the results and then take your next step.
Say 'No' (or 'Yes') for yourself
Being clear about where you stand can help speed things up. It's also tricky to do sometimes. If you are looking for ideas on how to make it easier to say 'No' take a look at:
An assertive no is calm + further meditation resources
Be more assertive at work
Normalise these behaviours
Look for opportunities to encourage other people to act for themselves, think things through, clarify their own agenda. Ask them about their priorities and needs.
Support their decision making, especially where you disagree with the outcome. Listen to their agenda and make sure you share yours. Recognise their choices may be driven by their need to take care of themselves (and the logic may not be obvious).
The deal of course is that in return, you get to share your perspective.
When you create the space for everyone else to live in a more honest an open way, you get to do it too. There's a term for this. It's called enlightened self-interest.
So next time you buckle up, anticipating turbulent times ahead, remember: a little positive selfishness can make the skies friendlier for all to fly.
In their words
“Self-interest is hostile to the common good, but enlightened self-interest is not. And this is the best key to the meaning of enlightenment” - Allan Bloom
Got a suggestion for a topic to cover in a future edition? Get in touch.
Learning Points is back in two weeks on Tuesday 18th February. See you then!