Mission – Take care of yourself first

I read a quote yesterday, which jolted me to think about this article. Quote – “You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm”. My values and beliefs have on numerous occasions forced me to gravitate to this position. It has happened to me in my work life, social network and also in my family life. We are constantly challenged with categorising and prioritising our tasks and the diverse responsibilities that we have to fulfil on a day to day basis.

I recall the times whenever I have adopted the excuse that I did not exercise because I had a proposal to complete for a client or I was busy taking care of other people’s priorities that I comprised my own priorities. Does this sound familiar to you? If it does, then welcome to the club. In an article in Medium – The Mission, Herbert Lui reminds us that there is a reason why the friendly voice on the plane always reminds us that “in case of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first”. Truthfully, if you put the mask on those who are travelling with you first, you are going to pass out – possibly before you even get the mask on them.

I feel that the outcomes that we derive in completing a task or responsibility is key in how we prioritise what we do. We prioritise work over personal gains, because that there is a financial value in the returns. This is also where workaholism originates, according to Herbert. He is quick to articulate that “it is always tempting to immerse yourself at the socially-accepted escape of work, especially if you’re good at it and get fulfilment from it”. Why do you chase novel concepts, new ideas, and juggle multiple projects that would deliver social pleasure in order to avoid your own personal issues.

Despite these conundrums, Herbert suggests three simple hacks which can probably get help you focus on YOU!

Do one thing that makes you happy. Convince yourself that you are prioritising tasks that is focused on you. Tell your close friends about it and celebrate together.

Develop yourself – Create goals and objectives which you want to accomplish every day. I have a daily vision board where I identify my priorities for self and others. I spend about 10-15 minutes every day as part of my morning rituals. Prioritise in activities where you find inspiration – reading, meeting a friend, talking to someone overseas or even taking a walk and enjoying the scenarios and the surroundings.

Create margins between your capacity and capability. This is an underestimated thought. You push yourself so that you can get more done in your day. Be kind and create space and know your threshold for “load and limit”. Don’t overpack your days, reduce the number of tasks that you want to accomplish and be aware of yourself.

Another beautiful statement from Whitney Cummings letters – “I understand on a soul level that I can’t give what I don’t have.” It is so true that it is easier for you to spread joy, enthusiasm and inspiration to your friends and loved ones when you’re brimming with it.