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Maybe you should be more selfish. 

Selfishness is not necessarily bad. It depends on how you define it. Let’s define selfishness as time spent solely on your own improvement for reasons that have nothing to do with other people’s wants or demands on you. In other words, it's time spent to level yourself up for your own reasons. Working on your physical fitness is a good example. You do it for your own improvement, and any benefit to others is merely a by-product. 

Little of the average person’s daily routine is selfish as defined here. Most of it comprises activities to meet (1) external demands and (2) personal needs that have nothing to do with improving oneself. Working, doing chores, eating, spending time with friends and family, and relaxing are some examples. Those are not bad or unproductive uses of time, but they are not done with the express purpose of leveling oneself up. 

Based on data from working-age people aged 15 to 64 in 33 countries, the OECD created a breakdown of how people spend their 24 hours each day. On average, sleep consumes 8 hours and 27 minutes. External demands (work, family, etc.) on time and purely leisure activities consume another 14 hours and 39 minutes. Meanwhile, selfish activities such as exercise and education get a mere 48 minutes of our time. (Data source: OECD Time Use Database) There’s a good chance you spend more time than that stuck in traffic every day. 

So, excluding sleep, people are spending a puny 5% of their time solely on their own improvement for reasons that have nothing to do with other people’s wants or demands on them. Keep in mind that the other 95% of one’s time cannot be recaptured once it passes. That is why managing your priorities is vital. Imagine the transformation you could experience in your life by doubling your time investment in selfishness from 5% to 10%. You’d still be giving 90% of your time to everyone and everything else, and there is nothing selfish about that. 

Sayonara until next time.

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