Be Selfless, If Only for Selfish Reasons, Be Selfish, If Only for Selfless Reasons

Gretchen aphorism

From Further Secrets of Adulthood: Be selfless, if only for selfish reasons; be selfish, if only for selfless reasons.

This is a variation of my Second Splendid Truth about Happiness:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy;
One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

I have Eight Splendid Truths, in all. (I was inspired by the numbered lists that pop up throughout Buddhism: the Triple Refuge, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths, the eight auspicious symbols, I decided to dub my fundamental happiness principles as my Eight Splendid Truths. ) You can read them all here.



Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter “5 things making me happy”.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.