Fill Your Cup-Be Selfish

Last Update: June 11, 2019

From childhood on up, most of us are taught to do for others. As a kid we are asked to help with family matters such as chores, helping with siblings, etc.

As we get older, we are expected to help with other things such as teammates in sports, other peers at school, and even in our jobs that we choose.

We continue this way so often that we tend to forget about ourselves. We are taught that it is selfish to think about ourselves or dare to put ourselves first sometimes, but think about it for a minute. I am sure almost everybody has heard the expression; you cannot fill somebody else’s cup if yours is empty. It seems like common sense, but most of us run on empty while trying to fill everyone else up. We stretch ourselves way too thin, and in turn, we are the ones that get neglected.

You owe it not only to yourself, but to everybody else to take care of yourself. It is truly generous to care for yourself.

My heart’s desire has always been to help other people.

When I noticed my life was out of balance, I began questioning myself- where was I lacking?

I learned about myself, that I was so busy helping other people that I was neglecting myself. I had to step back and look within. This is something that I felt like I had to do for myself, but in turn made me a better friend, mother, leader in my church, and just overall, a better person.

The way that I practice this in my everyday life is by making lists. I organize my ‘noise’ into three categories: things, people, and places.

When I make lists like this, I am able to really see what I am grateful for and the things in my life that I appreciate so much.

The list is best when it cannot benefit your vocation, but causes you to feel more human, more alive, and more connected. The items on the list lead you to create a sense of deep gratitude and internal peace.

I want to challenge you to do three things.

Challenge #1-Grateful List

First, write a list of everything that you are grateful for. Be as detailed as you possibly can. Everybody is grateful for their family, children, their home, etc., but really dig deep within you, and write a good list of everything.

Also, include in your list why you are grateful for those things. This is an easy way to look at what brings you enjoyment.

An example of something that I have on this particular list is about my son. Quentin had to step-up his game after my stroke. Due to me being a no-nonsense, single parent, he was much disciplined and well organized. At nine years, he could clean the kitchen and bathroom, cook small meals, go outside and play-knowing when it was time to come in, take a bath/shower, knew to set his alarm for the next morning, and pick out his school clothes. He also made good choices within our community; where there were acquaintances of his who did not have discipline enforced within their home.

I am so grateful for this because, in my time of need, he stepped up. I was not constantly worrying about him and his needs; although I made sure they were met.

This example is something that I was not able to fully understand until I wrote my list. With him being in his thirties now, it took some time. It really helps to write things down and reflect back.

Challenge #2-Enjoyment List

Next, write a list of things you enjoy doing.

This needs to be a very ‘selfish’ list. Write down everything from the quiet cup of coffee that you enjoy for yourself in the mornings, to the big, life altering interests that you love.

Think back to when you were a child and remember what brought you pure enjoyment. Try not to think about what you should enjoy-do not have an ulterior motive. Just simply and non judgmentally write.

Challenge #3-Activities List

Lastly, you need to write an activities list.

Schedule in times that you can do the stuff that you wrote on your enjoyment list. This list should go from least expensive to most expensive. You should also know, that some things on this list will take you a few minutes, while others will take you days to accomplish.

With this challenge, I want you to get a real pen and paper and start writing. Studies show that by doing this, you are more creative and write better. Studies also show that when you write something down, you are much more likely to accomplish it.

We all have gifts that we come into this life with. I call them God’s gifts, but you may call it something different. The point is though, that we all have things that we are drawn to or good at, and there really is a reason for that.

You will not be able to help other people with those gifts unless you listen to yourself first. As children, it is easy to know what we like and dislike, but as we get older, we have more responsibilities, things that we need, and things that take up our time; so much to the point of putting ourselves on the back burner-we stop listening to ourselves.

I find a good example of this is the Star Trek movies. For those of you who never watched Star Trek, in this major saga- the universe, there is a race called Ferengi. They are business people, and their only motivation is to make a profit. Their entire way of life is dictated by a sacred book called The Rules of Acquisition. Rule #34 says: war is good for business, but what’s more interesting is Rule #35 says: peace is good for business.

I absolutely love what can be concluded from these two rules. There are no good or bad times to do business- there are only unused opportunities.

This is the same in your life, it is so easy to get caught up in all of your chores or noise of life that you run yourself on autopilot and you forget to fuel up. Whatever it is that you do is fine, but figure out why you are doing it.

We are Wealthy Affiliate business owners. It’s very important to believe in following the lessons, knowing this is not a scam or get-rich-quick scheme. We have been given the ability, tools, lessons, and a family who will assist in any way possible to help us to succeed.

My desire is that if you choose to follow this practice, you will also have a much more enriched life, because taking the time to look within yourself with honesty, integrity, and faith will help you be more focused and less stressed.

I think about it like this; if you can step back and look at yourself from an objective perspective, you are able to get rid of the noise. The noise of your responsibilities, expectations that you and others put on you, and the judgments that come with every decision we make.

It is so important and necessary to study yourself so you can clear your mind and accomplish more. By genuinely filling your own cup, you can in turn fill other people’s cups!

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FKelso Premium
What a great list! I have done the gratitude one, more than once. For a time I was listing at least 10 things I was grateful for every night before I went to sleep.

You really do have to leave time for yourself. It's part of loving yourself, which you need to do before you can love anyone else.
howdoiblog Premium
This is brilliant!
Thank you so much for writing this post.
I love your lists-gratitude, enjoyment and activity. I am adding a few pointers now of my own in each of them. I love writing lists!

I can not agree more, you can not pour others from an empty cup.
It has to be a fair exchange of value!
Starting with filling your own cup sound like a good plan to me!