While generous and selfish may be seen as opposites there is no reason to only see them as two sides of a scale.
We can be both at the same time.
When we do, we transform the way we achieve a result.
If our aim is to learn something, then we can follow at least two paths.
One path is to get everyone’s attention towards helping us to learn. It leads to pulling other peoples energy to foster our learning.
A different path is one on which we use knowledge to contribute to other people’s learning.
Using either of these paths we can transform the experienced journey by combining being selfish and being generous.
Pulling everyone’s attention to our learning can be perceived as selfish. And yet, if we acknowledge the support others contributed and react to it by sharing our learning we become generous. As others can see the impact they had on our learning they can use that knowledge for themselves.
Putting all our energy into helping others can be seen as generous. And yet it can lack the necessary benefit for ourselves. By including the goal to enhance our own learning we give ourselves the permission to benefit too. A master of that discipline was Richard Feynman. His learning technique was based on teaching others. It is only when others didn’t have any questions left that he was sure to have learned enough. His deep understanding of physics lead him to earn a Nobel prize.