It is no secret that our brain is wired to instinctively look out for others, especially for the ones closest to us. Since we a social animal, actions that promote compassion and empathy are truly what motivate and nurture our human spirit.

However, in an increasingly selfish and competitive world, we constantly face situations in which the decisions that might be best for us may also clash with collective interests, at a small or large scale. This may start with our daily activities, the time we allocate to different areas of our life, or the money we spend. 

In a recent interview with Tim Ferriss, Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey referred to this clash and how it can be solved by depicting his view on the ideal point in which a person becomes “the ultimate human,” a state he defined as “egotistical utilitarian.” Quoting McConaughey on Ferriss’ podcast:

“The decisions we make for the I, for ourselves, the selfish decisions are actually what’s best for the most amount of people — utilitarian — they are where the ‘I’ meets the ‘we’, where the selfish is the selfless, where what I need is what I want — what I want is the ego, what I need is the utilitarian — what I want is freedom, what I need is the responsibility […]