Your first loyalty must always be to yourself.
You must love yourself before you love others. You must value yourself before you love others. You must care for yourself before you care for others. Dancing is optional, but encouraged.
This isn’t selfishness. It’s critical. Even if you are a truly altruistic person who wants to help the world, you have a limited set of tools and resources to do that with, all wrapped up in this thing we call “you.”
If you aren’t keeping your tools in working order, you can’t build a house. If you haven’t learned to read, you can’t write for others. If you want to sacrifice for others, you need something to sacrifice.
You can’t be somebody’s rock if you’re a wreck. You can’t be someone’s mentor if you’re barely keeping your head above water. You can – and should! – do small good deeds no matter what your situation is, but in order to make a real and lasting impact you need to have your own house in order. That should always be your priority.
If you have $100 and you want to do the most social good with it that you can, giving it away is a bad step. Turning it into more money is much better. That’s true of your energy, your time, your heart, your mind. You can keep giving pieces of yourself away because you want to help others, whether they’re your family, friends, strangers, society. But eventually you’ll have nothing left.
Instead, make sure you’re self-sustaining first. Make sure you can give while still growing.
The key to almost all inter-personal success is to improve yourself first. Instead of trying to get a date, work on becoming date-able. Instead of looking for a job, work on becoming someone people would want to employ. Instead of helping society, become the kind of person that society is better off for having. Once you do that, you’ll find the other things – dates, jobs, societal impact, etc. – all just come naturally. They follow from the work you put in on yourself.
Sharpen your tools, improve your mind, be healthy and happy, make yourself a person you love. No matter what your goals are in life, you need to be your best “you” to accomplish them.