We’ve all seen the archetypes of success, Armani suit, Italian shoes, a slicked back hair-do and a personality so atrocious you’d think that the devil had a child with Hitler and then baptized said child by Saddam Hussein in the tears of small children and Care-Bears’ blood. OK, maybe that’s a bit much; I’ll retract the ‘tears of small children’ part. Generally though, successful people seem to be so self-involved that they border on being sociopathic, but is selfishness a necessary asset to gain success? I’m not all that successful, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you.
Success demands sacrifice
Endless hours as a peon, being the boss’ go-to-guy (or gal) and occasionally staying in after everyone has left is very time consuming and demanding. Do you think you’ll be able to sustain a healthy, compassionate and understanding relationship or that it’s going to help you on your almost meteoric rise to the head of the company? Of course not! Don’t be silly. It’s all about you, even when you’re doing things for someone else; you’re still doing it for you. Sure you’ll miss the loving embrace of another human being, but who freaking cares, you’ll have stacks of money and tons of prestige to cuddle with at night.
Thinking you’re the Shizzaz will open doors you’d never imagined
Confidence is a key element of success. If you’re a bumbling, blithering introvert, you’ll never be successful (unless you’re one of those insufferable ‘talented’ types). Even if you over-estimate your skills, abilities and cunning and you sell up yourself enough, you can convince anyone that you know what you are doing. So what if you don’t have any experience in Stock Brokerage, you’ll learn soon enough. All you have to do is do it with confidence and study, a lot, seriously playing the Stock Market is no joke.
Humanity is overrated
Some industries are more cut-throat than others, but no matter what field you’re involved in, there will be moments when you will have to choose between yourself and someone else. So what if Tom has three kids, a sick wife and is on the verge of bankruptcy? What is this, a Charles Dickens novel? Take that promotion like you’ve always owned it, and let Tom find his own way.
Dammit, being selfish feels good
I’m sure you’ve heard of a psychological phenomenon called ‘projecting’. It basically says that you ‘project’ your own mood onto the person you are interacting with. Successful people aren’t miserable shlubs, they’re broad smiling go getters. Instead of giving that fat bonus to charity and being reminded of human misery and destitution (what is this a different Charles Dickens novel), buy yourself a splashy new suit which will remind you of industriousness, dedication to quality, the great feel of expensive cashmere on your bottom and what your money can do for you. Nuns, priest and government welfare programs take good enough care of the poor anyway.
No one can make you happy but you
I know this is some hippie dippy crap that you don’t buy into even a bit, but think about it for a minute. Do you want your happiness to be a slave to some person that says they love you, cherish you and want to spend their life with you? Hell-to-the-no you don’t. You want to be your own individual, make your own decisions and when success comes your way, be tickled pickled pink because you did it all yourself. Why hitch your happy trailer to someone else’s sad caboose?
It’s primal, biological; feed yourself before you feed others
Screw evolution and civilized society, you are an overly ambitious, no name taking, ass kicking marsupial saber-goddamn-toothed tiger. Back in the days when humans went out and took what they needed, when they downed an animal using their own brute force, they would take their knives and eat their fill of meat before anyone else was allowed to eat. Feed your hunger for success first; fulfill your needs before anyone else’s. After all, did anyone help you become the successful person you are today? No! Not even your mother, because you crawled out of that Uterus by yourself and you slapped the doctor until he cried. That’s how awesome you are (or at least that’s what you think).
Empathy clouds your judgment
Empathy is defined as: the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings (merriam-webster.com) and it’s a load of alligator dung. Do you have the energy after a 12 hour day and 2 hour cardio session (most successful people workout everyday) to dedicate to other people’s feelings? Hell no, you have your breakfast while you jog in the morning and take your morning poo in the lake next to the walking path which is on the way to work. Your schedule is so exquisitely tight that it makes a drumhead blush. There’s no room for disruptive things like humanity and emotions, you my friend are a slightly squishier machine.
Sharing is caring and that’s why you don’t do it
Your time is yours, not Nancy’s in accounting, not Tom’s in Logistics; it’s yours and the hell with them. Switch off your email notifications, your cellphone and punch Matt in the face because you know he isn’t going to stop popping into your cubicle saying, “Hidey ho neighborino.” Come on, you know you want to punch him square in his dumb moustache. Use all of your time for the progress of your own career and if they need help, they’ll look for it elsewhere. What are you, the wise sage atop the mountain?
Piggyback your way to the top
Sure you could give credit where credit is due, thank your team for supporting you, but the more credit you get the better. An added bonus is that if you present everyone around as an incompetent boob, you’ll look even more like a rockstar. Here’s a little trick too, if you see someone that is promoting something that you can tack your ambitions onto, ride that baby like a prize Shetland pony.
See also: What Does it Take to Become a Politician?
Are there any other benefits to being selfish? Let me know in the comment section below.