Go Ahead and Be Selfish. But in a Good Way.

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg
4 min readJul 2, 2019

There’s a negative misconception that focusing on oneself is selfish.

But being selfish is not only good-it’s essential.

For the record, the suffix “ish” means “ belonging to.” The word “selfish” literally means “belonging to self”; there is no negative connotation as we’ve created in our western culture.

The same misconception applies to the words “self-centered” (meaning “centered in self”); these terms aren’t originally negative in meaning, only in the meanings we’ve applied to them.

Belonging to or being centered in oneself indicates internal alignment. And isn’t alignment what we’re seeking so that we can have better balance and clarity in our lives?

It’s time to update our vernacular.

Semantics aside, caring for oneself cannot be underestimated-especially in our present age, when paying healthy attention to taking care of ourselves is a constant challenge. With the overwhelming amount of information barraging us on a daily basis, distractions take us farther and farther away from our true inner guidance-the core of our human being.

So why are we getting so far away from our inner guidance? Because we’re more focused on our human doing than on our human being.



Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Transformation Coach| Author | Relentless Optimist | HuffPost, Medium, Thrive Global Blogger. Find clarity & balance on your career path. http://bit.ly/2qV87pg