Time To Be Self-ish.

Time To Be Self-ish.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~ Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi.

Covid-19 pandemic was a different type of challenge; through the global lockdown it provoked, it forced people to spend time with themselves and their partners in a more intimate, authentic and reflective way, for the very first time for many people, thus the rise of divorces as well as couples splitting prematurely following the quarantines. Despite the fact that I believe a good amount of those ending relationships could have been avoided if we were taught to make better decisions when it comes to choosing a romantic partner; like by turning oneself into a true 50 Cent by asking a date more than 21 questions to have a better idea of where the relationship can go before anything moves forward for example.

Even though romantic love can play a crucial role in one’s life, I would argue that it is more necessary to nurture a healthy, loving and honest relationship with oneself, or the Spanish love philosophy as I like to think of it, where the ultimate, yet on-going goals would be to:

  1. Forgive your young self

  2. Believe in your current self

  3. Create your future self

Thus, the importance of being self-ish through 3 selected “selfish” methods and needs to be aware of, to cultivate and to add to one’s arsenal, namely: self-love, self-actualization and self-reliance.


“Self-Love is the best Love.” ~ Teyana Taylor in “Made It”

Even though, I appreciate Teyana Taylor’s work and cherish a loveable memory attached to that song as part of the #class2020, I must disagree with her on the last statement of the song: self-love is not the “best” love, rather it is the essential, indispensable… fundamental love one must feel for and about oneself first to truly be comfortable in one’s skin, to be in a position of giving that love back in a genuine way as well as to make the first step to reach one’s potential.

Do not get me wrong, being surrounded by loved ones is a blessing in itself, not to be taken for granted. They are true treasures to be cherished and protected because, they are all temporary, either because interests differ at some point or simply a matter of life and death, thus trying to be as present and genuine in relationships with others as possible is key. But focusing on oneself, learning to know and love oneself first is a priority.

Self-Love is a must, romantic love is a wonderful complementary to be earned.


In his article, Ayesh Perera argues that self-actualization is “the complete realization of one’s potential, and the full development of one’s abilities and appreciation for life”. He then mentions that self-actualized people have an acceptance of who they are despite their faults and limitations, and experience to drive to be creative in all aspects of their lives. Moreover, he indicates that this concept is at the top of the Maslow hierarchy of needs, so not every human being reaches it.

Carl Rogers believed that for a person to achieve self-actualization they must be in a state of congruence. This means that self-actualization occurs when a person’s “ideal self” (i.e., who they would like to be) is congruent with their actual behavior (self-image).

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Indeed, in a World where conformity is the norm, being yourself is a revolutionary act. As if everything is structured in a way to entertain you, to scare you and to nudge you to think and consume a certain way (panem et circenses), there is a continuous distraction that keeps preventing us from connecting with ourselves; being in our wholeness, in our mightiness.

The ultimate need of self-actualization, according to Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid of needs, reminds me of Scott Peck’s book entitled “The Road Less Traveled”, except for the fact that chances are that your road has not been travelled at all since you and only you are designed and destined to take what constitutes your own path.

I consider it as the most honorable way to create your future self and to design the life you want for yourself and the loved ones; but there is a need to be courageous enough to detach oneself of who we have been, as well as temporary let go of everyone and anyone who is an obstacle between you and your self-actualization. Only this way, one will be able to become the best version of themselves for their (human) family.

Potential update of the Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs where self-actualization is the bridge between local (individual) and global (communal) needs


We are social animals and our psychological need for love and belongingness that advocates for social acceptance, inclusion and affection can subtly play against us through conformity. To that regard, in her article, Catherine Moore mentions that self-reliance contains Ralph Waldo Emerson’s beliefs and perspectives on how society negatively impacts our growth. He argues strongly that self-reliance, self-trust, and individualism, amongst other things, are ways that we can avoid the conformity imposed upon us. Or, he also argues, that we quite frequently impose upon ourselves.

A strange way we also limit ourselves is when we aspire to be exactly like a particular person, be it Mohammed Ali, Elon Musk, Che Guevara, Lee Kuan Yew, Kwame Nkrumah among others who have had a great impact, and that is the beauty of being inspired. However, it is dangerous to normalize self-actualized individuals like them since only them were destined to fit their role they had for History. No business school will make you an Elon Musk (quite the contrary), no amount of boxing classes will make you become the greatest of all time that Mohammed Ali has been. But only you can be you, this is where your power originates from and once you accept and act upon it, resistance will emerge from your surrounding and society at large for a certain amount of time until you break a certain ceiling glass, and I believe this can be achieve through self-love and self-reliance, not to mention: self-efficacy, self-confidence, self-care, self-discipline, self-esteem, self-fulfillment, self-acceptance… Thus, the importance of being self-ish.

Because until you change your thinking, you will always recycle your experiences.

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