“You will never find a selfish man with a winning personality. Self-interest is very necessary, but deliberate selfishness is very unmagnetic.” -Theron Q. Dumont, Advanced Course in Personal Magnetism The Secrets of Mental Fascination
There is a big difference between self-interest and deliberate selfishness. You should be invested in yourself and want more for yourself, but the point when it becomes unmagnetic is when your self-interest involves taking from others. At that point it just becomes selfishness.
When I was a little kid, I could be very selfish. I’d hoard my toys and refuse to share with my brothers or friends because I didn’t want them to play with my toys. They were mine and I didn’t want anyone else to use them. Ironically, when someone else acted the same way I’d criticize them, call them selfish and refuse to continue playing with them.
It wasn’t until I was called selfish by my siblings and my parents that I took a look at myself and saw that they were right. I looked at my siblings and saw how much fun they were having by sharing their toys. One of my brothers was exceptionally giving and didn’t mind letting others play with his toys and would even give his toys to others from time to time. He was well liked and everyone wanted to play with him. It was inspiring and I wanted what he had which was friendship and fun.
I started sharing more. It took a little effort to convince my peers and I still had trouble sharing at times, but I clearly saw what a difference being generous had on my friendships. By sharing I attracted more friends. By being generous I attracted more fun.
Generous people are incredibly magnetic. I had an MMA coach who was like that. I came to class with a martial arts background, but I also came a little unprepared. I had never done MMA before and I didn’t realize all the equipment that was required. With no shin guards or hand wraps, I felt embarrassed and felt like I was just a dumb rookie who didn’t know the basic requirements. My coach must’ve noticed my look of defeat and asked me what was wrong. When I told him that I didn’t have wraps or shin guards he just chuckled and said, “no problem dude, wait right there.”
He came back to me, wraps and shin guards in his arms, and handed them to me. Gratitude and relief swept over me. I felt love for my coach and his kindness inspired me to try hard for him. That was just the first act of generosity from him of too many to count. Never once did he charge me for a class. I insisted on paying him, but he told me it was an honor to have me there and that all he wanted was for me to keep giving the effort and help his fighters get ready for war.
He was a true leader, successful and inspiring; he knew everyone and everyone knew and loved him. His kindness and generosity touched so any lives and he received so much love and admiration in return. He never asked for anything in return, but he got what so many people lack and desire. I tried repaying him by giving him art that I made or by mopping the mats after class, but I never felt like I really repaid my debt of gratitude to him. That man’s kindness and generosity attracted to him all the things people seem to want, success, respect, love and admiration.
On the other side of the spectrum we have the selfish. We’ve all met a selfish person, and we all probably don’t like them. The selfish don’t care for others, they care only for themselves and then wonder why they lack love in their lives and why they feel so lonely. Selfishness repels people. Generosity attracts people.
Reflect on the people you know who are selfish and reflect on the people you know in your life that are generous. Compare and contrast. Think about the differences in the magnetism of their personalities and the difference in the qualities of there lives in both the material and nonmaterial senses. The selfish man may have a successful life in the material sense, but may be miserable. The generous man my not appear very successful in the material sense, but may have all that he could need and is very happy and fulfilled.
There are men and women who are both and give generously because they understand the value of giving and they know that when you give you get back.
“One of the greatest assets in life is friendship. A man may have all the money he wants, but unless he has real friends he will not be happy.” -Theron Q. Dumont