Do unto others as you do unto your Self.

Living our life from the inside-out rather than outside-in is to have self-awareness by being in touch with our inner Self and by focusing on our self-first before focusing onto others. Living inside-out enables us to live a centered-self life and as described throughout Theory of Self-Relativity, centered-self does not mean self-centered. Although both centered-self and self-centered prioritize the Self over others; the big difference between centered-self and self-centered is that unlike selfish people centered-self individuals do not prioritize themselves “at the expense of others.”

To learn to live our life from the inside-out we must first learn to observe our Self from the outside-in. Introspection, which is simply self-inspection and is one of the two non-negotiables for self-improvement; enables us to see our Self from outside-in and to recognize our feelings and our thoughts and to identify our weaknesses and shortcomings which need to be changed and improved.

Our thinking, which generates our feelings, is the core of who we are. Being mindful and aware will help us to recognize our thoughts and will enable us to thoughtfully make changes and improvements to our thinking; from the inside-out. Self-reflection and self-awareness and a clear and strong sense of Self will enable us to have transparency and to be able to recognize these personal-traits and characteristics that need improvement. In order to create a strong self-identity and to develop a strong sense of Self we must:

  1. Observe our Self from the “outside-in”
  2. Change our Self from the “inside-out”

Thinking and living inside-out places our Self in the center of our thoughts and decision-makings while minimizing our dependency and reliance externally. Society, culture and even our families often influence and distort our sense of Self and our self-identity by teaching us to place others before our Self. For example, our empathy and compassion are often used to manipulate us by placing a guilt-goblin on our shoulder that any time we choose our Self before others, we are being selfish. Such guilt-ridden inability to put our self-first is one of the main causes of people becoming codependents and people-pleasers. Additionally, societal, cultural and religious teachings which focus externally by placing others first and teaching us to do for others before doing for our own Self; gives society and people whom we interact with the ability to control us.

Centuries old terminologies like “turn the other cheek” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” are prime examples of cultural influences of how we are taught to place others before our own Self. These principles create unfairness in the name of forgiveness and courtesy and at the expense of our self-interests. Such social standards ensure our loyalty and contribution to the community by making us feel guilty and even bad about our Self if we choose our personal-interests before others. Just as living centered-self does not mean to put our self-first at the expense of others; living from the inside-out will also prevent us from placing others first at the expense of our Self. A truly caring, symbiotic yet self-interest preserving way of stating “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” should be;

Do unto others as you do unto your Self.

This means we do no harm to others and we are kind and empathetic with others because we would not harm our own Self and we are kind and empathetic with our own Self. To do to others as they do to us is more of an an-eye-for-an-eye approach however, to treat others as we would treat our own Self is based on self-reflection and self-awareness. The best possible way to treat others shouldn’t be the way that we would want them to treat us; but it should be the same way we treat our own Self. Therefore, if we treat our own Self unkindly or anything less than the best, we should first improve how we care for and treat our own Self so that we can improve how we care for and treat others. When we live centered-self and inside-out, we don’t ignore our Self and we don’t give something up in order to pay attention to others. We first pay attention to our own Self and we take care of our own Self so that we would then know how to be available for others.

If you can't be good to your own self, you won't know how to truly be good to others.

By placing our Self first, we do what is right for our own Self and we pass on the same values and interests to others. Instead of guilt-ridden ideologies or fear-based beliefs; centered-self and inside-out approach creates personal-standards that are good for our own Self and which will inherently be good for others. When we learn to place our interests first, we will become more aware of other-people’s interests. Instead of placing others first at the expense of our interests, we will recognize how to prioritize our interests relative to other-people’s interests. By preserving our self-interests, we will be more cognizant of the balance needed between our self-interests and that of others. We will then know how to address others-people’s interests before ours only when we are comfortable that addressing other-people’s interests is not going to be at the expense of our interests. Theory of Self-Relativity defines the relativities of our Self with others as the “Self-Equation” which is discussed in detail in the book.

Theory of Self-Relativity defines “self-equation” as “the dynamic balance of the Self, relative to the Self and to others.”

The most optimum value of the self-equation is when both sides of the equation are balanced and in equilibrium therefore such balance places our Self in harmony with everything and everyone else. However, due to personal, cultural, societal and other factors, achieving and maintaining this dynamic-equilibrium is often difficult. People are often either too selfish or too selfless relative to their own Self and/or relative to others. When Self has less weight than others, the balance and focus of the self-equation shifts away from the Self and the person becomes selfless; for example, they become people-pleasers or codependents. Conversely, when Self is the only point of focus, the equilibrium shifts towards the Self, without much consideration for others for example, selfish-people or psychopaths.

Although Self is the most important word for self-improvement; prioritizing our Self does not mean to be selfish. “Self-Focused” is different than having a “Focused-Self” attitude.

Theory of Self-Relativity defines being “self-focused” as “to bring focus and attention to one’s Self first but not at the expense of or without consideration for others.”

Living inside-out not only places our self-first but it allows us to change and improve our Self before we attend to others. Living centered-self and inside-out is important in placing our self-first because if we cannot think, feel and do the best for our own Self; how could we do our best for others? We need to be healthy and strong first before we can help make others healthy and strong.

To be good to others, we must first learn to be good to our own Self.

By placing our Self in the center of Our-Universe, we emanate thoughts, feelings and actions from within to the outside. When we become the center of Our-Universe everything else flows around us relative to this core position. Instead of us constantly focusing externally onto other-people and other-things; by focusing on our self-first, we live our life from the inside-out and we require others to adapt to us from the outside-in. By living from the inside-out; we dictate the rules of personal-engagement and we play on our home-court advantage. Unlike traditional, cultural and societal teachings and expectations, there is absolutely nothing wrong by engaging with others based on our preferences. If others don’t meet our preferences, we should be self-sufficient enough to simply choose to not to have to deal with them and we can choose to move on. When our self-identity and personal-values are internally-defined, we will then operate based on our self-sufficiencies and without having expectations from others. Furthermore, such internally well-defined parameters and values will enable us to set our borders and boundaries so that we know how much and how far we can be available for others and reciprocally it will signal others how they would be required to interact with us.

Living a centered-self and inside-out life does not mean being rigid. Living an inside-out centered-self life means we are aware of and we know how we relate to our own Self therefore we would know how to relate to others and in-turn we would know how we would want others to relate to us. If others don’t relate to us according to our well-defined values and preferences, we would either make changes and modifications to adapt to others or we would require others to make changes to adapt to us accordingly. However, if adaptability is not possible, we will not simply remain in an interaction or a relationship with incompatible or disrespectful people. Self-reliance and living inside-out allows us to define our borders and boundaries. The more self-aware and self-reliant we become the less we will be dependent on others and the more we will rely on our Self hence the more control and certainty we will have in our life.

Everything in The-Universe is relative and to have the most balanced relativity we must remain unbiased, adaptable but well-defined.