Secure Your Own Mask

If you are like many people, you have already made plans for the new year and, perhaps, those plans include changes you need to make in certain areas of your life. Personally, each year, my family and I sit down to evaluate the former year and ask ourselves, “What did we like?” “What would we repeat?” “What do we want to avoid or never do again?” and “What can we do to improve upon ourselves in the New Year?”

As I sat down to ponder this 2011’s results, I was reminded of a former trip with my family. There I was, sitting on the plane with my daughter on my right and my husband and son on our left, when the “emergency landing” video came on. The lady proceeded to tell us that, in case of emergency, the oxygen masks would fall and we should secure our own masks before trying to help those around us.

I thought to myself, “Yeah right, as if I would put myself before helping my own children. No way! I would help them first!” Then I started to rethink the logic of that decision. I noticed a single mom with a baby in front of me and an elderly couple seated on the front row. Then it hit me, “If I don’t secure my own mask first, I may not have enough oxygen for helping the other people on this plane.”

That same principle is true in life. Often times, we run out of vitality before the end of the day and have nothing to give the people we love the most. We burn the candle at both ends and fail to realize that we have put our core values in an order that is quite dysfunctional. When things get hectic, the first thing to go out the window is our exercise time or meditation time or “me” time. In other words, we try to put the “oxygen mask” on everything and everyone BEFORE ourselves and end up depleted at the end of a day or year.

As you contemplate resolutions for the New Year, I want to encourage you to “secure your own mask” by creating a plan for your own physical and spiritual wellness. That may include losing those last few pounds, working out more often, spending more time in prayer, or just taking the time to become centered on the things that matter most in life.

A well oxygenated leader is a stronger, more resilient leader worth following!

If you know a few friends that need more “me” time….share this post on Facebook or Tweet it and let them know!

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