This Will Give You Your Just Desserts – Promise!

470777908Having a personal ‘purpose’ is all the rage. Most seem to be about doing good for others. Mine too. Enough already!!  We’re deluding ourseves. Rather, get totally self-focussed. Here’s why.

I’m in Cape Town, visiting my dear friend Tiramisu Graham. He’s a unique character. He loves doing things for others. Always has done. Last time I was here my then 10 year old mate was panting for the tiramisu dessert on the lunch menu. When it was time to order, it was sold out! He was devastated. I heard Graham that afternoon phoning restaurants, but paid little attention. At dinner, as menus were handed out, he whispered to my mate: “Oh, and they have tiramisu. I reserved a giant serving for you.” My mate beamed. Graham beamed. “It’s a pleasure,” he said to my mate’s excited thanks. And that’s the point.

Pleasure Gives You Energy. Energy Gives You Confidence.

Tiramisu Graham has touched many through his consistently generous and positive intent over the years, and is deeply loved. He is also self-aware. He knows he thrives on the pleasure he gets from the joy he brings others. It energises him. He loves it. Remember Dr. Martin Seligman’s research on the happiest people in the world? Common Trait Number 2: they do something for others without expecting anything back in return.

Tiramisu Graham has got it right.

Here’s my point. It’s okay to seek pleasure in our lives. Pleasure is like high-octane fuel in our veins. It lifts our spirits, recharges our momentum, puts a spring in our step.

The reminder for me, in seeing Tiramisu Graham again (now to be renamed Massive Slice Of Cheese Cake Graham, but that’s another story), is to recognise and nurture the things that give you pleasure in your life. Be very clear on what they are. And then, do them more often. Sometimes it’s about doing stuff for yourself. Often, more powerful pleasure is found in doing stuff for others.

It’s a good thing no doubt to have personal ‘purpose’ goals bedrocked in helping others – for example- to achieve potential, to inspire confidence and hope in those we love and care for (that’s mine by the way), or leave a positive legacy of having ‘made a difference in the lives of others.’  I’m not knocking it. I’m there too, right!  Recognise though that it’s also self-serving. We help others with the (often unconscious) self-centered intent of making ourselves feel good. And that’s perfectly fine.

Cheryl Strayed shares this idea in the movie, Wild“Put yourself in the way of beauty.” There is a sunset and sunrise every day, she says. You can choose to be there for it. I’m getting clarity around those moments of ‘beauty’ for me that I will push myself to be in front of more often. Taking my Mum for a walk along the beach in an hour’s time here at Betty’s Bay is one of them. I do it for her, but really, truthfully dammit, I do it for me. It makes ME feel great.

Remember- pleasure sparks confidence, energy, optimism and resilience. The most powerful pleasure you can get is through doing things for others- from those ‘tiramisu moments.’ And selfishly doing stuff just for yourself is okay too. Are you getting enough of both? (Here’s a coincidence: tiramisu actually means ‘pick me up, lift me up.’ Now- that gives me pleasure!)

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11 Responses to This Will Give You Your Just Desserts – Promise!

  1. Scott June 3, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Chris, great article. I wonder how many people/companies are more concerned about self promotion rather than actually doing good for others?

    I see examples on LinkedIn everyday ie “here’s a photo of me/my company volunteering and here are my contact details, you should do business with me”. To me it’s clearly just another marketing opportunity.

    • Chris Savage June 4, 2015 at 8:59 am #

      It’s true, Scott. I used to get draft media releases from companies I was responsible for, talking about their charitable efforts, and I never liked them. Totally self-serving. Chris

  2. Paul June 3, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Hey Chris. I agree, and I think a lot of time and energy is wasted by folk feeling guilty about doing things for themselves. I’m booking tickets to Vegas now 🙂

    • Chris Savage June 4, 2015 at 8:59 am #

      Book a seat for me, Paul!

  3. Nico Abbruzzese June 3, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    Awesome article and I share the passion of your mate Graham. Both the sugary version and the life version. Time to fall in love what I do again… Thank you

    • Chris Savage June 4, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      thanks Nico.

  4. Michele June 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Great article Chris. Put yourself in the way of beauty as we All deserve it

    • Chris Savage June 4, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      Thanks Michele!

  5. Michael Hyams June 5, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    You’re leading the tribe from the front Chris, thanks for keeping it real.

  6. Camille Heaney June 5, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    Pffttt. Mothers know that they need a bit of ‘me’ time each day. Even if it stopping for 10mins to enjoy a cuppa tea whilst hiding from the kids in the bathroom! Sometimes this ‘good selfish’ pleasurable 10mins only occurs once a week – but it balances out the other ‘nuturing’ pleasurable times of giving, playing lego and dollies. In the workplace is often called appreciation. But ultimately it is called limited time on Earth so bloody appreciate it wherever and whatever you are doing 🙂

    • Chris Savage June 5, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

      Fair enough, Camille!

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