How To Live Better By Being Selfish

  1. Selfish means doing stuff in your own interest without conisideration of others. Acting in self-interest is clearly what you’re talking about. With that in mind, you’re right. It’s refreshing to hear Ayn Rand’s philosophy articulated today as from her book, “The Virtue of Selfishness”.

  2. My point is not a rehashing of Ayn Rand and her cult of rational self interest (although she has some great points), my point is that you can’t not be selfish, so you might as well accept it and do it well. My point is that true altruism doesn’t exist (giving without anything in return) because you get the pleasure/happiness/validation/influence of helping others. And that every human moves towards pleasure and away from pain at all times. I also don’t see charity as a vice (like Rand), I think helping others is great so long as you’re doing it because you want to instead of living out of guilt/shame.

  3. This stuff is the gospel… EVERYONE’S out for themselves – whether they admit it (or even know it themselves) or not. That means criminals, Mother Teresa, and everyone in between. It’s human nature.
    A real good book on this topic is ‘The Origin of Virtue’ by Matt Ridley. It is a pretty technical read from a philosophy and evolution perspective, but it basically proves than there is no true altruism besides maybe one’s own children (since that passes along one’s one genetics indirectly). It also explains the origins of animal cooperation, early humans, and modern society (including the reason for money in society).
    It is always tit-for-tat in nature and human behavior also, and the sooner you understand that every individual serves their own needs, the sooner you can use that to your advantage… while still looking for some mutual cooperation 1+1=3 opportunities in business, romance, life, etc.
    Great article, Will.

  4. Will,

    You mentioned briefly the technology behind religions. If you’re curious, Jordan B Peterson’s Bible Lecture series on Youtube might be a good source of new (or very old) ideas on the subject. He hits upon its themes from deeply psychological and philosophical perspectives.

    They’re very dense, very long lectures, give at least 10 or 15 minutes before you decide to pass or press forward with his work.

    You can find the first part of his lecture series here:

    P.S. Thank you for putting out such quality content.
    I bought How to Get Organized and my life is beginning to organize in accordance with my goals. Now I’m taking Real Estate classes and about to be licensed. Your article about service-based business made me finally pull the trigger.

Your email address will not be published.