Question: Should We Put Ourselves First? by John Cali

We received the following question from one of our readers:

“Should we put our self first in all things, or are we supposed to put others first?”


You’ve probably often heard these admonitions:

  • Think only of others.
  • Love others unconditionally.
  • Put others before yourself.
  • Be of service to others.

Those are noble-sounding sentiments. But they will guarantee you a life of misery and joylessness.

You serve absolutely no one if you do not serve yourself first. For it is only when you appreciate and love yourself first that you are empowered to fully appreciate and love others. It is only when you are self-focused enough to seek joy in your own life that you can be of true service to others.

A single being in a state of deep joy sets up a vibration many millions of times more powerful than the combined vibrations of millions in a state of despair and hopelessness. That is the power of joy.

The more you put yourself first, the more joy you seek, the more you will be of service to others.

Do you feel comfortable putting yourself before others. Whether you do or do not, why? Please share your thoughts with us below.

We welcome your comments and thoughtful opinions. Please keep them kind and compassionate. If needed, we’ll edit for clarity. Also, we’ll delete anything we consider inappropriate.

Something New
We’re starting a question-and-answer feature in this blog. We invite all of you to send us your questions. We’ll publish Spirit’s answers in occasional blog posts. Please follow these guidelines:

  1. Keep your questions “on topic” — that is, on the subjects we cover in our blog and newsletter.

  2. Your questions should be of interest to all our readers. If you have personal questions, those would be more appropriately covered in private readings.

  3. Email me your questions. While I cannot guarantee we’ll be able to answer all questions, we’ll do as many as we can.

12 Responses

  1. Dustin

    I have been a pursuit for my highest joy for as long as I can remember. I work in music (I’ve had some decent succes for my age) but I found the pursuit of my path to be at times most frustrating and difficult. Especially on the financial end of things. It’s always up and down and sometimes it’s really hard to pay bills, but somehow my rent always gets paid. Even this month work has been extremely slow so out of desperation I bought some scratch off lotto tickets for the 3rd time ever in my life…and won enough to pay rent. I think there have been certain advantages and life lessons learned by having a low income, but my parents are currently paying off student loans for me since I can’t.

    I feel a bit guilty about this since, but I feel to do any job just in pursuit of money wouldn’t be true to the path I must take in life. Am I putting myself first too much by allowing them to pay it?

    • John Cali

      Thank you, Dustin, for sharing your story.

      This is just me speaking, not my spirit guides– but I do not think you are, in your words, “putting myself first too much by allowing them to pay….”

      Obviously, your parents are willing to help you out. By accepting their gift graciously you are telling the universe you’re willing to receive abundance, no matter where it comes from. That can only result in more and more abundance coming to you from expected, and even unexpected, sources.


  2. Micki

    I agree, and the cup analysis is very apt. If you don’t put yourself first you begin to begrudge what you are doing for others, when you are complete within yourself and happy, helping others is no chore at all.
    Happy days to all.

  3. anny

    I love the fact that Dan brings math into it (and I only just figured out why because I had to do it myself) and then concluded that Pam starts it off with physics, a full and an empty cup.

    Examples like this make everything so clear. You can only be of any use to somebody else when you are happy. When your cup is empty you have nothing to give, you do not have the strength to do that either. But that also applies to saying no when you do not really wanto to do something someone asks you to do. When your cup is empty, you do not have anything to give but also not the energy to say no. Once your cup is full, you will have no problem with saying no any more but maybe then you do not want to say no any more. So it all comes down to … take care of yourself first.



    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Anny, for your comments. This is still an issue with folks, family and friends, I know. They deplete themselves in the “service” to others.


  4. Dan

    I love the fact that one has to have basic math skills in order to comment on this site. Beyond that I am definitely one of the choir spirit is preaching to. But it does raise a question regarding a bit of gray area. There are times in my life that I am asked to do things I don’t really want to do. On the one hand I can say no – but sometimes that seems more resistant than saying yes and resistance I think may be just as much a health problem as not loving oneself – in fact – I think somehow they are the same thing. I guess my point is – sometimes it is not easy to discern what is the most feeling good action.

    Despite such occasional dilemmas – it is very evident to me that the happier I am with myself – the more value I add to everybody else. Thanks for all the good reminders.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Dan, for your comments. It’s good to hear from you again.

      My math skills are definitely basic. That’s why that “Captcha” puzzle appealed to me. 🙂

      I agree this resistance thing can be a grey area. Maybe instead of asking ourselves what the path of least resistance is, and getting into all the mental gymnastics that could lead to, we should simply ask what would make us happier. As you said, the happier you are with yourself, the more value you are to others.


  5. Pam

    I believe (my cup runneth over) what comes out of my cup is for you all, what is in the cup is for me. I’ve got to keep my cup full. 🙂 I believe it must be Self-First, can’t give from an empty cup. Blessings to you all.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Pam. As you said, we can’t give from an empty cup.


  6. Cinda Miller

    I agree with Pam make sure you’re full before trying to help someone else.

    I used to think of others first until I fell apart emotionally. If you don’t take care of yourself no one else can.

    It is said to “Love your neighbor AS YOURSELF,” your first love is to yourself AND THEN for others.


    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Cinda. I think we’re all on the same wave length here. 🙂


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