I was a dedicated employee. I was a perfectionist. Even when I don’t considered myself as a workaholic, my peers and colleagues calls me an ambitious one. So, listening an advice to take some time off was very hard, even it is for your own well-being.

It was at the weekend when I hang out with my friend. That was a leisure time that I barely get, because of the weekend overtimes. He noticed that I suffered from a burnout. He was preaching me to get some rest, that my senior was not really care about me, that I didn’t take care of myself since my time was dedicated for long working hours.

“Why think about the others, when the others don’t think about you?”

When he said that, I startled. Like.. really? My senior are not thinking about me? My peers are not thinking about me? Aren’t we work and collaborate together? Or… am I not thinking about the others? I helped them and working together with them, aren’t I? That quotes linger in my mind for weeks, even months after he said so.

To know is not enough. Sometimes we have to feel the experience. After a long time, by getting some conflicts, getting sick, getting detached from the closest person, finally I understand what he was talking about.

A Selfish World

Yes, think for ourselves sound so selfish. But, the other person are also think for themselves. We are thinking about ourselves. We are naturally selfish. Our workplace think about the target. Working environment direct you to do the things you don’t want to do–by company gimmick, motivational title, performance index gamification, big salary. They want you to do their things.

We are living in a selfish world, where every person, every entity, every living things has their own motive. Each of us looking at things at a different perspective. 

Is that sound so bad? Not so, if we access this from a neutral perspective. It’s normal. It’s a zero-sum. When you also think about yourself–like the others–you will lie on your Nash Equilibrium. If you are not thinking about yourself, you will lose your game–you let the others pass through your equilibrium.


To think for yourself, we must be unbiased. Detach the external influence. In this case; detach the work-related things. You will realize what is the most important for you, whether your life or your work. Whether you want to work to live, or live to work. To let the other dictate your, or dictate yourself. To open for other opportunity, or stay. Let yourself decide you.

I realize that I was so dedicated back then because I’m afraid to lose my “good career”. I’m afraid that I will not get another job as “good” as the previous one. While, “good career” is not only about recognition and salary, but also about your well-being. By changing our mindset (which is hard, yes!) to just be a little bit selfish–to think about ourselves first–to think normally–you will see a different result in your life.

This also can be applied for any other case. When you suffer from a bad relationship, detach the memories and feelings you have experienced. Detach the external influence from your closest ones (who knows it will be not biased?). Detach the material factors.

Just think for yourself for a while.