The Path of Unselfishness

‘A rich man said to the Buddha, “I see you are the Awakened One and I would like to open my mind to you and to ask your advice. My life is full of work, and having made a great deal of money, I am surrounded by cares. I employ many people who depend on me to be successful. However, I enjoy my work and like working hard. But having heard your followers talk of the bliss of a hermit’s life and seeing you as one who gave up a kingdom in order to become a homeless wanderer and find the truth, I wonder if I should do the same. I long to do what is right and to be a blessing to my people. Should I give up everything to find the truth?”

The Buddha replied: “The bliss of a truth-seeking life is attainable for anyone who follows the path of unselfishness. If you cling to your wealth, it is better to throw it away than let it poison your heart. But if you don’t cling to it but use it wisely, then you will be a blessing to people. It’s not wealth and power that enslave men by the clinging to wealth and power.”

“My teaching does not require anyone to become homeless or resign the world unless he wants to, but it does require everyone to free himself from the illusion that he is a permanent self and to act with integrity while giving up his craving for pleasure.”

“And whatever people do, whether in the world or as a recluse, let them put their whole heart into it. Let them be committed and energetic, and if they have to struggle, let them do it without envy or hatred. Let them not live a life of self but a life of truth, and in that way bliss will enter their hearts.”’

- Majjhima Nikaya, in The Buddha Speaks, A book of guidance from the Buddhist Scriptures edited by Anne Bancroft.

“God, let us not be entirely wrapped up in being the objects of blessing. Let us focus on being channels of Your blessing for others.” - Chris Moermon

Sometimes it seems like all we do is focus on our OWN emotions and our OWN “calling”, when really our calling is to bring Him glory! 

Let us forget ourselves and think of others, because of Him. Let us be servants, for the first shall be last. 

The Key to Influencing Others

By Brian Tracy, Sept. 12, 2011
DO NICE THINGS FOR OTHERS. One of the best ways to influence someone is to do something nice for him. I know many successful salespeople who make a habit of taking their prospects out to breakfast or lunch. During the breakfast or lunch, they do not talk about their products or services unless the client brings it up. They merely make small talk, ask questions and listen. They work on building trust, and they work on establishing a friendly relationship. At the end of the breakfast or lunch, they tell the prospect that they will be getting in touch with him sometime in the future with the possibility of talking to him about helping him in some way.

SEE THEM AS FRIENDS AND PARTNERS. The best salespeople and business people in America today are those who look upon their customers and prospective customers as friends and partners. They always look for ways to help their partners improve their lives in ways that are not directly related to the products or services they sell. They sow seeds, and they reap a harvest. They trigger a desire in people to reciprocate. When the time comes for those salespeople to approach their prospects with the possibility of buying their products or services, the prospects are wide open to the questions and inputs of the salespeople. The prospects have a deep-down desire to reciprocate.

SEND THANK YOU NOTES. One of the best ways to use this principle in your interactions is to continually look for ways to say and do positive things for people. Look for ways to do kind acts and favors for your friends and prospects. Send thank-you notes. Send birthday cards. Send clippings from newspapers about subjects that you feel may be of interest to them. Always keep your promises, and follow up on your commitments. Always do what you say you will do. Do everything possible to put in, knowing confidently that you will ultimately be able to get out far more. You will reap if you sow.

BE A GO-GIVER RATHER THAN A GO-GETTER. Someone has observed that no one ever built a statue to a person to acknowledge what he or she got out of life. Statues are built only to people to acknowledge what they gave. The most powerful, influential and successful people you will ever meet always look for ways to do nice things for others. When you meet someone under almost any circumstance, one of the best questions you can ask is this: “Is there anything that I can do for you?” Always look for ways to put in rather than to take out. The successful man or woman of today is a “go-giver,” as well as a go-getter.

BE OPEN AND EMPATHETIC. The more that people feel you are open, empathetic and sensitive to their needs and concerns, the more open they will be to your influencing them positively in some way. And the more you can influence others with the power and impact of your personality, the more you will accomplish, and the faster you will accomplish it. The more rapidly you will move toward the great success that you desire and deserve.

ACTION EXERCISES. First, look for ways to do nice things for other people, especially your family, friends and customers. The more nice things you do for others, the better you will feel about yourself. Second, take time to really listen to people, especially your staff and coworkers. The more and better you listen to others, the greater is your influence over them.


“I want her to be happy. No matter what that means.”

–Bruce learns to pray, Bruce Almighty

The feeling of pain is only temporary because you grow too attached and too dependent on that special someone. When you truly love someone, you have to learn let them go. Because true love means to be happy whatever your partner decides his/her happiness is. Even if you’re not a part of it.

Once again, Sunday has arrived. However, today is about more than being shredded. I am dedicating this post to the animals… The innocent souls that suffer at the hands of human ignorance, gluttony, selfishness and lack of integrity.

I didn’t go vegan for health benefits, but I am healthier because of my vegan lifestyle.
I didn’t go vegan to gain strength, but I am stronger because of my vegan lifestyle.
I didn’t go vegan to gain fitness, but I am fitter because of my vegan lifestyle.
I didn’t go vegan for me. I went vegan for the animals, and I will stay vegan for the animals.

‘Compassion shows intelligence.’ - Maroon. ❤️💪🌞👍 #vegan #veganathlete #shredded_sunday #calisthenics #health #animal_lover #integrity #motivation #self_appreciation #unselfishness #compassion #humanity @vegans_are_sexy #fruitarian

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My word for 2012, the word I have chosen to represent me, is Courageous.  I want to be that person that leads by example, that is willing to stand up when others will not and speak for those who will not or cannot speak for themselves.  I believe the first step is to being a Courageous person is being Unselfish.  This video speaks a lot about me, who I am and where I have come from.  Semper Fi!

What We Need Now

By Tony Schwartz, HBR, August 11, 2011
I can’t ever remember living through such poisonously polarized times: the left and the right, immigrants and their antagonists, and perhaps above all, the haves, who have ever more, and the have nots, who have ever less.

As William Yeats put it, “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

Doesn’t it increasingly feel that way?

We each move frequently between at least two realities, unaware we’re doing so. The more primitive one is instinctive, reactive, survival-based and selfish.

The higher one allows us to be intentional, reflective, future-oriented, and generous. In this state, we’re capable of shaping our deepest values, delaying gratification, and making sacrifices that serve the greater good, including our own.

Ask virtually anyone to tell you their mostly deeply held values, and they’ll invariably describe noble ideals such as kindness, compassion, honesty, fairness, respect for others, courage, and generosity.

The challenge is that our survival instincts so often overwhelm our more virtuous ones. In fear, which so many of us understandably feel in these difficult times, we contract. We become more mistrustful, vigilant, self-protective, and righteous, which only makes the fissures between us grow wider.

So how do we learn to rise to our best selves more often?

The first answer is to acknowledge how often we fall short of the ideals to which we aspire–and how much help we need in living them more fully. We need humility in place of hubris, and even a sense of shame, where it’s warranted, as a spur to behave better.

Instead, we too often use our highest intellectual capacities, after the fact, to defend, rationalize, and minimize behaviors that actually violate our professed values. Or to blame others, or circumstances beyond our control.

I see this in myself every day. I value a healthy body, but I succumb to unhealthy foods. I believe deeply in kindness, but I don’t always act kindly. I am appalled at the fact that we’re profligately burning down our planet’s limited resources, but I live in a house that’s far bigger than I need.

I’m outraged by the fact that billions of people live in abject poverty, in the midst of plenty, but I continue to live an exceptionally comfortable life, and only allocate a modest percentage of my income to helping others.

And I rationalize. I tell myself I do more than most. That my work is about helping people. Or I try not to think about my contradictions.

The second step–mine, ours–is to actively challenge our infinite capacity for self-deception. In the simplest and most personal terms, that means seeking to hold ourselves more accountable to our deepest values, through our behaviors, every day.

It dawned on me thinking about all this recently that I need to be more literal about accountability, because otherwise the relentless demands of everyday life simply take over.

I decided to start keeping track, in a daily journal, of how I’m doing. If I say my health matters, what did I do to take care of it? What did I eat, and what exercise did I do, and how much did I sleep?

If I say kindness matters, how did my behavior reflect that, or violate it? I’ve already begun doing more pro bono work, in an effort to better serve the value of service to others.

Each of us is either adding value to the world we live in, or spending it down, by the sum of our actions. That’s true no matter how you spend your days.

As Marian Wright Edelman put it, “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small differences we can make which, over time, add up to the big differences that we often cannot foresee.”

Some of those involve taking better care of yourself. Others involve taking better care of others. Living intentionally, and by your deepest values, requires not just awareness and intentionality, but also sacrifice.

We all instinctively and automatically move towards pleasure. It takes no effort to be impulsive or reactive. What’s endlessly difficult is to challenge our comfort zone, to transcend our survival instincts, and to reach beyond ourselves.

We need each other for that. Who can you recruit to push you, and cheer you on, and hold you accountable to your commitments, while you do the same for them?

We’re all in this together. Like it or not, we live in an increasingly interdependent world.

We’re either growing, or we’re getting weaker. There’s no standing still. Whether you shared his politics or not, Eldridge Cleaver was right. We’re either part of the solution or we’re part of the problem.

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The negative idea of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the most important point. i do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love. The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, bot not about self-denial as an end in itself.
—  C.S. Lewis, the Weight of Glory

I just noticed something interesting about king Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone – in the versions I’ve read, he’s new in town, just a kid, and has no idea what the sword or its significance is. Everyone else who’s tried to pull the sword out has done it because they want to prove how great they are and gain power.

But Arthur gets shooed off by his annoying foster-brother Kay to find a sword to replace his, and Arthur pulls it out and innocently takes it back so his brother won’t look like a twit come the tournament. 

Everyone else is thinking of themselves, but Arthur is simply trying to do something good for something else, and that, as much as being Uther’s son, makes him worthy of the sword and the throne. 

Kenyans find unity in helping those in drought

By Tom Odula, Associated Press, Aug. 7, 2011
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP)–Hashim Mohammed Elmogo spontaneously decided to donate his entire July salary of $376 to help those suffering from hunger after seeing a scrolling headline on television about a young child trying to nurse from his dead mother.

“I am very touched by the images of starving children and emaciated women,” says the 36-year-old police constable. “We need to do all we can to ease the situation and save our fellow Kenyans.”

Friends who heard of his generosity have since pledged to support him financially through the month of August.

Three years ago, postelection violence led Kenya to the brink of civil war and left the country divided along tribal lines more than ever before.

Now in a show of unity, ordinary Kenyans–majority of whom live on less than a $2 a day–have contributed more than $1.3 million in a little over a week. Corporate donations to the “Kenyans for Kenya” drive brought in another $4 million for the relief effort.

While famine in neighboring Somalia has killed tens of thousands, there have been hunger-related deaths in Kenya as well. At least five people have died in Turkana, the hardest hit area located in northern Kenyan near the border with Ethiopia.

Joseph Kimeu, 31, a driver for a non-governmental organization, donated $1 to the fundraising effort.

“The way I see those kids they are like my kids,” he says. “If my kids are eating and I see another kid starving I feel like it’s not good for a human being. Especially if you are a Kenyan, I feel it is still my family. They are my family too and that’s why I gave.”