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"It's not selfish to put yourself first. It's self-full"

- Iyanla Vanzant


I travel often. What I've noticed before taking off on a plane is that they have this thing called the 'safety demonstration'. It's funny; during this short demonstration, you can learn so much about life if you really pay attention. The safety demonstration is when the flight attendants show you what to do if the plane starts to go down. If cabin pressure changes and the oxygen masks come down, you are to pull a string releasing a strap, put it over your head and breathe through the mask. What they advised next, however, is what got me: if you are with someone else, like a child for example, you are to put on your mask first, then theirs.

I repeat: put your mask on first. Not the other way around.

How often do we try to put someone else’s mask on before we put on our own? How often do we try to feed others before we feed ourselves? How often are we trying to “do the right thing” for others before we do the right thing for our self?

Many of us who work in an industry where we provide a service for others -  be it care-giving, education, youth facilitating etc. - may find it difficult to prioritize our needs versus the needs of those around us.

You might think of the nobility in self-sacrifice. You might say, "I'm just trying to be selfless. I'm just trying to help people help others". This is fine, but certainly not at your own expense. After all, how can you serve or save others if you're not in a position to serve or save yourself? How can you build and strengthen others if you are not fed, filled, or strengthened?

I think one of the reasons why they tell you to put your mask on first is because if you have oxygen, breath and life then you have the ability to give that exact thing to someone else. But if you do not have breath, oxygen, life, strength, hope or courage how can you even expect to reciprocate?

You are an inspiration everywhere you go because you are an overcomer. You have a story. You have been fed, so now you are in a position where you are able to fill others.

A glass that is empty cannot quench anyone's thirst.

Whether it's reading books, watching movies, or surfing the net, be filled so you can fill others. Be full of faith. Be full of hope. Be full of love. Get your daily deposit. True strength, love, courage, influence and impact comes from empowering and lifting others up. These are qualities that you need.

So let's get filled and increase in love. Increase in hope so you can give that same thing to others. Share your personal story. Conquer your personal demons. Overcome challenges so you can share that with someone else. Duplicate yourself. Take someone to a higher level. Be the impact that you were made to be.  



- JH


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