Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Self-preservation as a natural or instinctive tendency to act so as to preserve one’s own existence.
It is a survival mechanism and the theme of a lot of movies especially when it involved a battle in whatever form. It is the ultimate bottom line reason of Victoria Grayson in the hit TV show Revenge.
It is very tempting to save face, to point the blame to someone, or to justify why I deserve more power, wealth, and fame than any body else or worst at the expense of someone.
Is selfless the antidote of the negative connotation of self-preservation? It could be, if selfless is done not because of self-inflicting suffering but to have honorary sacrifice. To devote oneself for the greater good and to spark a positive change just like the inspiration the great noble men have left us.