The Universal Law of Self-Interest


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Self-interest is hardwired into all living things, everywhere.

Wherever there is life, wherever life exists in the universe, rest assured, its #1 directive will be self-interest.

Self-interest is the most powerful driver, the great overlord, of every single living thing from fungus to humans.

The Universal Law of Self-Interest was the very first law embedded into all living things, everywhere, for one reason and one reason only – to ensure survival.

With the exception of children, all human beings put themselves first.

Our thoughts are about ourselves.

Our actions are directed to benefit ourselves.

We compete to win something for ourselves.

Human self-interest is particularly acute, and on full display, during periods of scarcity. When desperate, humans will injure or kill anything that stands between them and what they need (75 people were injured in Venezuela as they scrambled to get a scarcity – food:

Rich people understand the Universal Law of Self-Interest and leverage it to their advantage.

When you understand that every person you come into contact with is interested in numerouno, you too can use that Universal Law of Self-Interest to your advantage.

One of the millionaires in my study told me that he has a very simple rule he uses to help him get what he wants:

In order to get what I want from someone, I first help that someone get what they want.

When you use the Universal Law of Self-Interest to your advantage, by helping others get what they want, it automatically transforms whoever you help into one of your most powerful assets – they thereafter will become your greatest cheerleader, a champion for your mission, a brand ambassador, and a devoted apostle.

Helping others succeed in getting what they want, separates you from the masses. It puts you in the top 5% – the seemingly consistent few who understand what it takes to succeed in life, and who wind up rich.

And it separates you from the other 95%. – the bulk of human society who consistently do not understand what it takes to succeed in life, and who wind up poor or stuck in the middle-class.

Helping others succeed, creates an emotional bond between you and those you help. Emotional memories are always the most powerful, long-term memories – people always remember those who helped them succeed.

When individuals see you as someone who is willing to help them get what they want, they will automatically elevate you ahead of all others, transforming you into one of their most valued and important relationships.

Once I understood the Universal Law of Self-Interest, it came as no surprise to me when I discovered that 79% of the self-made millionaires in my study, the 5%, regularly volunteered for charities or non-profit groups.

Just take a look at any one of your local community non-profits – you’ll see that many of the individuals on the board of directors happen to be some of the most successful people in the community.

These successful individuals, the 5%, leverage the Universal Law of Self-Interest by making a habit of helping others succeed in getting what they want.

And, by doing so habitually, they become the ultimate beneficiaries of the Universal Law of Self-Interest.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. I read this story with sadness. If taken purely from a business perspective I get it, but it was expanded to life in general. I know of people who assisted me with no end-game in mind(unless it’s twisted to say that by helping me without wanting anything that THAT is what they get out of it), and I have helped others as well. I read the letter from my father’s commanding officer describing his actions in the Battle of the Bulge where he was awarded the bronze star, about the things that he did that were a complete opposite of his personal self-interest. I know that some suggest people should engage in charitable activities as a way to network, and I think how sad someone must be to have that as their motivation.

  2. Lisa Schreiber says:

    I think Tom is talking about the way things are, not the way we wish they would be. And if we all helped others succeed in some way, the world would be a better place regardless of our motivation. And as the world becomes a better place we all evolve together!

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