One of the tools I frequently use as a life coach is strength assessments. As the name implies they show a person their strengths, but they also reveal weaknesses, or the now more acceptable term – gaps. I think the person who decided all kids deserve trophies also decided to call weaknesses gaps.
In this post, I am going to give you an assessment on the #1 gap (problem) in the world today – selfishness. It is a problem we all share to differing degrees. It is the root cause of wars, debt, bitterness, divorce, and every other evil in the world. The cure for much that ails us is to figure out how to deal with this pride and self-centeredness. As I type that last sentence I think of several people who need to read this, which is a sure indication I am writing to myself. I’m convinced if we could figure out how to deal with this one vice the world would be a better place. And if that seems too lofty a goal, it will at least make a difference in your own little world. Pride will never be fully defeated in this lifetime, but we can at least reap the benefits of slowing it down.
Here are 8 true/false statements to help you determine how selfish you are:
1. I refuse to let that driver into my lane who has bypassed the long line at the exit ramp.
2. I lose patience when I underperform (think golf course or home project).
3. I don’t like kids.
4. I have a hard time celebrating my friends or colleagues’ achievements.
5. I sometimes fudge the truth to make myself look good.
6. I tend to view those I lead as people who serve me rather than people I get to serve.
7. I’m still justifying my answer to statement #1.
8. Right now, I am thinking of someone who would have scored worse than me on this assessment.
Trues are bad, by the way. How many did you have?
The Bible warns us: “do not think more highly of yourself than you ought.” C. S. Lewis suggests the answer is “…. not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” One of the key habits of the heart taught by Chick-fil-a is to “Think Others First.”
Here are a couple of suggestions you can begin today to start defeating selfishness in your life.
- Add value to others. Find someone you can help get where they are going. Serve without question. Roll up your sleeves and get busy helping with no expectation of receiving anything in return.
- Express gratitude – Look for those around you who are doing something well or who have contributed to your success in some way. Give them a genuine “thank you,” write them a note or brag on them to someone else.
These simple actions will go a long way toward defeating the beast of selfishness in your life. You might even decide to let that car in front of you next time. Maybe.