The self-centered thought is not who we are. The self-centered thought is different from the mind that wants to be happy because we’re sentient beings. Everybody wants to be happy. There’s no problem with wanting to be happy. The problem is the way the self-centered thought goes about thinking of our happiness and the way it goes about getting happiness. It is a distorted mental state that can be eliminated by seeing its disadvantages, applying the antidotes, and cultivating the mind that cherishes others.
From Don’t Believe Everything You Think: Living with Wisdom and Compassion by Thubten Chodron, page 83