Everytime someone claims that they are very unselfish, I get a chuckle out of it! Grow up people!! The act of unselfishness is not possible. We are just not capable of that sort of a utopian thought.
Since unselfishness & Selflessness are used interchangeably, I will go with that. (Though, less thought of self (selfless) makes more sense that no thought of self (unselfish)). Lets look at some common usages:
"The soliders/commandos selfessly sacrificed their lives for their country."
Hmm. As heart-wretching and tear-jerking that is, is that true? The soliders were so committed to doing their job that they did not hesitate to risk thir lives. That makes them brave, not selfless.
"Gandhiji was the most unselfish person ever."
I admire Gandhiji, and look upto him. But unselfish, no. Gandhiji had some ideals he believed strongly in. He propogated and stood by them. That is not unselfish - that is being steadfast in his beliefs.
"I will even die for you."
Some of us say that, and most of us mean it too. Aren't we selfish when we say that? Doesn't that faith, that love for a person to want to promise such extremes actualy make us happy?
"He is so selfless. He has donated XX money to orphanages/old ages homes!"
Hmph! There are two ways of going about it. You either donate/help out because it makes you happy, or for being guilt-free and fulfilling your social duties. This is the least unselfish act ever.
As a corollary, I admire people who are realistic enough to call themselves selfish.
Every act that we do gets us something - peace, happiness or blessings. Just think twice before you egoistically call yourself selfless.