Daily Blog #262
A few days ago, I had published a blog post about money. More specifically, a post about wanting to make more money. It was something that I said in that post that really got me thinking long after I published it. Something that has not left my mind since I wrote it, and something that has made me question my character.
When talking about money, and all of the good that we can do with money, I had said that we can’t give what we don’t have. What I was implying by this, is that if you want to do good in the world, if you want to fight for a cause, or if you want to maximize every one of the opportunities that are going to be presented to you, then you, yourself need money. And you are going to need more of it. Money simply opens up the door for endless amounts of opportunities.
In reflecting back on what I had said, it was the part where I said you can’t give something that you don’t have that really stuck with me. I quickly realized that what I was saying goes far beyond just wanting to make more money, it is with anything that we do in life.
If we want to help others find success, then we first need to have found success. If we want to help others to live a healthy lifestyle, then we first need to live a healthy lifestyle. If we want to help others find happiness, then we first need to have found happiness. Whatever we are trying to help others find in life, we first need to find ourselves. Why? Because we can’t give something that we don’t have.
Look at it this way. Every time that you are about to takeoff on an airplane, the flight attendants always do that ridiculous safety intro in case something bad were to happen. During that segment, a point that the flight attendants try to emphasize to the hundred of sleeping or preoccupied passengers, is that you should place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others put it on.
Part of me always used to question this. When I would hear the flight attendants say this, I would immediately think about kids who were flying on an airplane with their parents. Would the parents actually place a mask on themselves before on their kids? Isn’t it natural instinct for a parent to help their kids before helping themselves? Call me incredibly fortunate, but at least that is how my parents have always been.
The truth is, though, the flight attendants are right. That silly little intro that nobody pays attention to does actually contains some pretty valuable information. If a parent doesn’t place the oxygen mask on themself before on their kids, then both would be in serious trouble. But if the parent places the oxygen mask on themself first, then not only are they at less risk, but they will be more effective in helping others, including their children.
I know, this is an incredibly extreme example, but it helps to display the point that I am trying to make. If you can’t take care of yourself, then you aren’t going to be able to take care of others. That is why you need to be your own number one priority.
While I believe that my purpose is to help others, I also had to learn that in order to effectively help others, I first needed to help myself. I mean, who would see the benefit in listen to somebody talk about the importance of living a positive life if that person always seemed sad and depressed? Who would see the benefit in listening to someone talk about living your best life if that person was not living their own life? Probably nobody.
It’s not selfish to be your own number one priority. In fact, it’s mandatory. The life that you are living, it is your only life to live. It is not greedy to live life the way that you want to live it. And it’s not selfish to put yourself before others. If you want to effectively create change in the world, then you first need to create and live the change that you want to see.
The best way to live your life, is to feel whole and fulfilled. Once you feel whole and fulfilled, only then will you be able to help others feel the same way in their own lives. So live with a purpose, live with balance, and be your own number one priority.