The cabin shakes and rumbles.
Lights go out and smoke fills the air.
Flight attendants yell, "Heads down! Stay down!"
The excruciating tension builds, and then the plane lands.
Then finally, flight attendants direct you toward the emergency slide.
No, I didn't endure a plane crash and live to tell about it.
Rather, in my previous life working for a major airline, I had the chance to experience the flight attendant safety training, first hand.
Yeah, it is intense. It shakes you up even though you know it's just a training exercise.
Much of that experience has stuck with me, especially the lesson I learned from one of the airline's security videos:
"Before you assist others, always put your oxygen mask on first."
I think that is true to all of us. We want to make a difference, to be somebody, and to know our lives mean something.
But, I've learned from my experiences that helping others is almost impossible to achieve if you are going through turbulence in your life or career.
If your current situation is unstable, how can you possibly help others?
Your job, first and foremost, is to help yourself and take care of your own needs. That's why the flight attendants encourage you to secure your oxygen mask first. If you don't, you and the person you want to help could both go down.
Put your oxygen mask on first.
Be financially stable.
Be in peace.
Here's a challenge for you: For 21 consecutive days, do one thing to take care of yourself.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
On the 21st day, answer the questions below so that you can see the transitions you made by focusing on your own happiness.
- What changes did you notice in yourself?
- What lessons did you learn?
- Do you feel happier and more at ease in your own life?
Celebrate your accomplishment of taking care of yourself for 21 days in a row!
You need to get out of that cycle.
Often, it begins with saying "no" to others and "yes" to yourself.
Nozomi Morgan, MBA, is a certified Executive Coach and the Founder and President of Michiki Morgan Worldwide LLC. Addition to coaching, she speaks and trains on leadership, career, professional development and cross-cultural business communication.