Recently, I was on a flight traveling with my 6-year-old goddaughter sitting next to me. To set a good example, I told her to listen carefully to the flight attendant's safety instructions. While talking about the oxygen masks, one flight attendant made a point to come to me to reiterate: "Make sure you secure yours before helping with hers." I smiled politely, but inside I sneered, "Yeah right, not on my watch! Think of myself first before helping her? No way." Then I looked at the elderly couple across the aisle and the child traveling alone in the row in front of me. I visualized needing to assist all these people in the event of an emergency (it's amazing how the mind starts dramatizing a scenario). I realized if I couldn't breathe, I might not be able to help anyone around me. I then realized that securing my own oxygen mask was the most selfless and helpful thing I could do for everyone else.
But this is too often not how people live their lives. Instead, they run around helping everyone else with their oxygen masks (errands, requests, obligations, etc.) and eventually run out of oxygen themselves, becoming stressed, tired, unfit and unhealthy.
When I ask people the order of their priorities and core values, I often hear an order like this:
2 Family and friends
3 Business, customers and employees
4 Well-being, personal interests, etc.
This order will eventually cause you to run out of oxygen. You are no good to God your family, your company or anything/anyone else if you are rundown or you get sick or drop dead of a heart attack.
You cannot give what you do not have. If you want to give more, serve more, contribute more, build more, create more, you have to be stronger and more vital...