There are so many people who go through their day thinking about number one. They do everything that they do for themselves without regard for other people and they think that their happiness depends on it.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of examples of this including:
I could go on and on with these examples, and I'm sure you can think of a ton of them yourself. In fact, I'm sure that you have done a ton of them in your lifetime! Looking out for number one is something that most people naturally do until they start to become aware of what looking out for number one and two can do for them.
- Cutting people off in traffic so you can get one car ahead.
- Cutting people off in line so you can get one person ahead.
- Stealing someone's turn when they are not looking.
- Stealing someone's money when they are not looking.
- Putting someone else down so that you look more powerful.
- Not moving over to let someone pass.
- Ignoring the old woman who needs help so you can get on with your day.
I learned this best from an older woman at a seniors home I worked at. She was oblivious to the staff that took care of her, and she made everyone's job much harder than it needed to be. She was capable of doing everyday things like cleaning up after herself, but she chose not to. She had people to do that.
One day I called her on it and purposefully tried to make her feel bad so that I could feel better. My intention was to make her more aware and respectful of other people and instead it came out as a rant to make her feel bad so that I could get it all off my chest.
When I was done I realized something horrible - I felt bad! She could have cared less, but I started to dwell on what I had said and how I had acted and it was the first time that I really became aware of how my actions towards other people made ME feel.
So I sucked up my pride and walked into her room and apologized to her, and I told her that she was right and I was wrong. She gave me a dirty look and I accepted it, and I walked out of her room without saying another word. The only feeling I felt though was happiness. I had made her feel better instead of worse and that brought me happiness.
Since that day I have been extremely aware of how I make other people feel and I strive to be gracious, considerate, helpful, and accommodating because I know that not only will it increase their happiness but it will increase my happiness as well.
I'm not saying to not stand up for yourself or to let other people walk on you, but I am saying that you shouldn't strive to do everything for yourself and only yourself. Think about other people who are around you and try not to make them feel bad in their day. Instead try to make them feel happier for having you in their day.
Bottom line: Want to be happier? Make other people happy.