The Age of the Self

As a part-time entrepreneur, I like what this guy has to say.  I think it’s very easy to assume that entrepreneurship is on some level a form of narcissism; that it’s for people who need their world to be about them.  Reading blurbs like this on blogs that are devoted to entrepreneurship is progressive and reassuring.

I’m on hyper-alert for my own narcissism these days. Society embraces it now, it seems.  Social networking sites and reality TV are the most public forms of narcissism I can imagine–we’ve all heard this.  (Says the one writing the blog, yet even this blog is intentionally a kind of stand against narcissism since the whole thing is an exercise in turning the lens outward.)  But in some way the “self-love” aspect of narcissism is blossoming everywhere as well, and being exemplified by things like 11% of the people in the country working for themselves, my yoga studio being more crowded than a subway platform at rush hour and the countless studies being done on the overconfidence of today’s teenager.

For a long time, I’ve believed that there is a fine line between self-absorption and self-preservation.  I live by the idea that in order for me to love my dear ones best, to relate to them, to enjoy them and to nurture them, I have to make sure I’m doing right by myself too.  Maybe even–dare I say–put myself first sometimes.  In service to my relationships.

In that sense, this final sentence of the above post is interesting, when taken out of the professional context:  “The challenge is to serve, solve and delight from a place of genuine personal interest without relying on the experience to complete you.”  I guess he and I are kind of saying the same thing: that the idea is to fulfill yourself so you don’t rely on others to do it for you, and only then are you at your most selfless.

Maybe narcissism does get a bad rap.  Maybe it is the Age of the Self.

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