Do You Want To Lose This?

We talked recently about the costs of selfishness. Ego, narcissism, self-centeredness–it’s not only a recipe for inevitably overreaching in the professional world, it is a death sentence to personal relationships.

Shaquille O’Neal found that his selfishness was part of the destruction of the Laker’s dynasty. But more painfully, it tore apart his marriage–culminating in a devastating day when he watched his kids move out with their mother.

You go from having a house “full of noise and relatives” to haunting quiet, he explained. “Second day. Third day. Fourth day… forever. The silence starts to get to you.”

It wasn’t just that he lost a chance at another couple rings with his team, or that he lost the ring on his wife’s finger. In losing his kids, Shaq said he felt the most precious thing in the world slip away–his children. Losing Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, Me’arah, Myles, he said, was like, “losing the privilege of having … joy.”

Is that what you want to happen? No? Then what are you doing? Why are you making decisions that make it sound like you are, in fact, ok with that? You are choosing work over them. Choosing a pointless argument over them. Choosing a fleeting pleasure over them. Choosing yourself over them.

Well, if you don’t stop, you just might get what your actions are saying you want. Just know that it’s going to cost you the ultimate privileges–joy, happiness, self-respect.

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