Sakko ujū ca sūjū ca (being honest, very honest: a very prerequisite, not only for metta practice with conductive effects)
The Buddhas words on one occation: "Do you really love yourself? Are you going to content yourself simply with the food, clothing, shelter, and medicine of lay life even though this means staying in the cycle of birth, aging, illness, and death? Or would you really like to put an end to suffering?" (See: "Selves & Not-self", by Ven. Thanissaro on more about general instances on the roots here)
The traditional lines.
Ahaṃ sukhito homi
May I be happy.
May I be free from stress & pain.
May I be free from animosity.
May I be free from oppression.
May I be free from trouble.
Sukhī attānaṃ pariharāmi
May I look after myself with ease.
As a matter of karuna, in short, for those capable not to get lost on the main stream of Dhamma-trade:
For those "wishes to attain that state of Peace", e.g. having goodwiil with themselves:
Yes (Buddhadasa Conficts, here in one of his bestsellers), not only 2600 tradition but also the Buddhas teachings.
Just think how confused it is to think not being into existence and then wish well-being, metta, goodwill, to all other BEings...
Where would be a you if there is no I.
Metta meditation requires objects and it usually starts best with oneself, for one not having goodwill for oneself (given that oneself is most dear for everyone) is incapable to wish well-being for all others.
Buddhas way is for oneself and all others. Once one forgotten there will be a on going turn around.
As mentioned in an earlier question of on who answered here, (which was deleted): Buddhadasa was "a politican", call him philosoph or a favor doer for strong identification views (eg.: we, or nation...), another "Ghandhi",, far away from Path and abounding even low fetters, something especially lay teacher have adopted, which actually is nothing else as the Uposatha of the Jains, and of cause a good sell... eg. Dhamma-trade.
They get their disciple to undertake the following practice: 'Here, my good man. Lay down the rod with regard to beings who live more than 100 leagues to the east... more than 100 leagues to the west... more than 100 leagues to the north... more than 100 leagues to the south.' Thus they get the disciple to undertake kindness & sympathy to some beings, but not to others.
"On the Uposatha day, they get their disciple to undertake the following practice: 'Here, my good man. Having stripped off all your clothing, say this: "I am nothing by anything or of anything. Thus there is nothing by anything or of anything that is mine."' Yet in spite of that, his parents know of him that 'This is our child.'
So far as to the reason why some "smart" look for making points under the big mass of "enemy" outwardly seekers in the "ego-less" way, teaching "there is no self" and hold on huge houses.
So now one might wonder why such as the traditional line of thought to develope metta can not be directly found in the texts. One really practicing has such as goodwill for oneself as "drive", why practicing if having not? But since it easy happens that one seeks identification in outwardly "seeming" objects, falling into the other extreme, a good way is to also start balanced and focus on uprooting the real problem where it can be made and with a good reason not to get lost, "loosing" the base and ooze into anywhere, hard to find back on a base where things can be solved.
And if looking a little on how the famous sutta starts, one sees that it starts with goodwill for oneself:
Yaŋ taŋ santaŋ padaŋ abhisamecca:
Sakko ujū ca sūjū ca,
Suvaco cassa mudu anatimānī.
- He who is skilful in his welfare,
And wishes to attain that state of Peace
Should act thus:
He should be capable [of practice],
Upright and very upright,
Easy to instruct, gentle, and not arrogant.
If seeking for the dual approach on other places and how to best use the goodwill for each in best was (active on the base, releasing wishes to the world), the famouse bamboo lady inspired this:
Looking after oneself, one looks after others.
Looking after others, one looks after oneself.
And how does one look after others by looking after oneself?
By practicing (mindfulness), by developing (it), by doing (it) a lot.
And how does one look after oneself by looking after others?
By patience, by non-harming, by loving kindness, by caring (for others).
(Thus) looking after oneself, one looks after others;
and looking after others, one looks after oneself.
Again: Where does it start? What's the required drive to arrive?
Some short accounts on [From mettā Jhāna to nibbāna] and some deeper guidance on the development of the Brahma-Viharas one may find here.
Again, short and on the point, as a matter of karuna, and further will be up to you, leaving with metta and mudita.
Certain: "Sukhī attānaṃ pariharāmi May I look after myself with ease." is/would be wise :-) what do you think? Do not stay to much under confused and seek out for those who know and do/have done the job not just talk, as a matter of metta torward youself and with it for all others.
On "What view of things should a beginner follow, between these? Thanks in advance!": seek for people of integrity, a proper teacher., and if having found a proper teacher follow his/her advices, hold them higher as others and especially you own views. That is the meaning of refuge. There is much to learn and to understand, so strong association is very required if having goodwill for yourself, willing to let go.
[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for commercial use or other low trades and exchange for the world.]