No one denies the vast resources and talents present in our country. What is lacking is a national spirit to perform and succeed. Oh, wait! Even that passion for success is present. Still, we are lagging behind as a nation to achieve much-deserved stardom in the areas of the economy, learning, and ethics. What is stopping us from reaching our optimal potential? Don’t tell me that it’s lack of access to the right person to right resources. That’s just a symptom of the real problem. Don’t say that the reason lies in poverty. Haven’t many other nations risen from poverty to start ruling the world? And don’t answer with the vague indications of lack of awareness or educational backwardness. These all issues are symptoms and aftermaths, not causes, of our collective plight. If we had one thing in our nation, our talents would have gained easy access to right resources. They had no problem in committing to their passion, even when awareness lacks. And poverty would not be a hindrance for them. This thing, which could magically change our fate as a nation, is not national cohesiveness, I am afraid. Nope. Sorry, absence of leg-pulling is not an answer here. In fact, the very nature of leg-pulling is also a symptom of a deeper issue. And that issue is our collective misunderstanding about selfishness. It’s our tendency to stigmatize selfishness. We, as a nation, consider self-love as a part of selfishness. And then, we don’t stop here but proudly sell our subjective opinion to everyone who shows interest in listening. We highlight self-love is the absolute crime, the culprit which is harming the society. When developing, not to forget the developed nations also, countries are emphasizing on mental health and emotional intelligence, we are depriving our youth of the life-line from which these two areas take strength and life. We are pushing our youth, our talents, and our visionaries into the lifelong quest of self-loathe only by questioning their efforts to connect with themselves. We despise selfishness. But by including self-love within the definition of selfishness, we only promote it. What our society needs today is a healthy understanding of self-love. We all know that love is a concept of purity. It propagates peace. And peace begets development. But this knowledge fades away when we combine this same word with self! Why? Only because we believe that when a person loves oneself, he stops being a community man! Our nation needs to let this misunderstanding go to survive and thrive. We need to understand that self-love is not the culprit behind self-centeredness. In fact, the opposite is true. Lack of self-love is what opens the Pandora box in our lives. When we stop loving ourselves, we start buying in the judgmental opinion from society. We start being not-good-enough, not-intelligent-enough, not-social-enough, and not-smart-enough. We start believing that we are not worthy of love because of what our society feeds us. Because, in this situation, our love stops coming from our inside, we start searching in it in the external world. Our need to feel belonged strengthens to an unhealthy level. Fitting in becomes our primary goal. And we become a byproduct of our environment rather than our internal cognitive system. The worst part is the outcome of this quest for belongingness. However appreciation we get from society, we never feel satisfied. Why? It’s only because of a lack of self-love. When you do not love yourself, you believe that you are not lovable. What’s the result? Any appreciation and love from outside will be disregarded as fake. And we feel obligated to take part in the constant battle of proving ourselves to society. And continued emotional agony is just one consequence of disconnect from self. Others consequences include the on-going quest to judging yourself, judging society, plotting schemes to earn the love which you believe is lost. In our position as, supposedly, unlovable people, we disregard our boundaries to please others. This leads us to leave our passions and our goals to follow the path of others around us. In this way, the nation is deprived of talent from one individual. Now these individuals, who have failed themselves by following the crowd, have to maintain their utility and prove it. The only way to prove this utility is by not allowing anyone else to rise above them, or above their crowd. This mentality asks them to start pulling others’ legs to prevent them from growing or achieving their goals. These failed individuals, then, create a failed nation by spreading jealousy and hatred. Oh! And remember this all started with owning the society’s vision of selflessness. If this is not irony then what is? Leg-pulling is a by-product of self-loath. And self-loathe, in turn, starts with deprivation of self-love. Self-love, on the other hand, is the most hated savior of humankind. But it’s only helpful, if we integrate it in our lives as our lifeline. Abdul Qayyum Rajpoot is a productivity enthusiast who in on a mission to help entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in achieving their business goals through focus, grit, and motivation. When he is not advocating smarter work, he is traveling the world or journaling his achievements in the self-growth arena on his blog.