In September of 2010 I went on a business trip to Las Vegas, Nevada with my girlfriend and a friend of mine. The view at night is gorgeous, and sitting poolside with the love of your life is priceless. That, however, wasn’t the only thing that stuck out in my mind.
On our way home, my girlfriend and I were on a very small plane so we were fortunate enough to enjoy each others company. I was reading one of my favorite books from Tony Robbins, “Awaken The Giant Within” when one of the flight attendants made it a point to stare at me to reiterate: “Make sure you secure your oxygen mask before helping the person beside you.” I smiled and continued to talk to my girlfriend who was taking pictures of us, but inside I thought to myself, “Yeah right, sure I’m going to think of myself before the safety of my girlfriend. Yeah…Okkkk!” Beside us, there was an elderly woman, and I could see myself creating a scenario helping my girlfriend with her mask, and then helping this elderly woman. Boy Oh Boy!…If I had a dollar for every time I created a scenario and another for each time my girlfriend called me Mr. Scenario I’d be retired. (it’s funny how the mind starts to wander and create scenarios).
That’s when it dawned on me! “Wait a minute…If I can’t breathe how do I help my girlfriend, let alone anyone else?” The best thing to do in that situation that would offer the most help would be securing my own oxygen mask first. I would have to help myself before I could lead anyone to safety.
But, at times most of us do the opposite of what would offer the most help. People run to the aid of others helping them with their oxygen masks (problems, requests, errands, etc.) and then run out of oxygen all together. People become tired, stressed, unmotivated, unhealthy, and worried.
Have you ever asked people what their priorities are, or what they believe are their core values? Most people’s answers are:
- Loved Ones
- Business, Friends
- Personal Interests, and Well Being
But, how good are you to anyone if YOU run out of oxygen?
If you want to give more you have to literally be able to give more! You cannot possibly give what you don’t have. You have to be your first priority so that you can give more, contribute more, and serve more.
Mark down You as priority #1. Schedule You time. Then you can take on family, education, business, etc.