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Oxygen Masks

You are on a plane and there is an emergency. The oxygen masks come down. Who’s mask do you put on first? Your own. Always. It doesn’t matter if your child is sitting next to you, you still put yours on first. The order nevers changes.

What if we adopt the same mindset to our own happiness?

Most people wake up, spend the whole day putting on oxygen masks for other people and then they go to sleep.

These “other people” come in many forms depending on the roles you play in life.
For a parent, their children.
For a teacher, their students and their parents.
For a doctor or a nurse, their patients.
For an employee, their boss.
For a business owner, their customers.
For anyone, their family and friends.

This behaviour is rooted in a beautiful quality, generosity. Take that generosity and turn it inward. And to do it first.

“That’s selfish”.

A common myth. People that are happier tend to have better relationships, make better decisions in life, have more life satisfaction, make more money and perform at a higher level at work. What is selfish about that?

It’s not: Put yourself first, at the expense of others.

It’s: Put yourself first, then others.

On a plane, you put your oxygen mask on first so that you can help other people. You become useless if you run out of oxygen.

What can putting your oxygen mask on first look like?

Meditating for 20 minutes in the morning before checking your messages.
Exercising after work before you return home to the inertia of married with kids.
Getting lost in a book before you say goodnight to the world.
Making time to call your best mate before you make other plans.
Sitting outside in nature doing absolutely nothing before paying your bills.

Whatever it is for you, do it regularly. Aim for daily. Ideally, forever.

Don’t take “first” literally. You don’t need to do everything in the morning upon waking. Although this would be the dream. Consider “first” as a mindset that guides your actions throughout the day. Putting other people’s oxygen masks may seem noble. On it’s own, it’s short sighted. It ignores what’s important, not urgent, YOU!

I hope you understand this concept. It means nothing if you don’t implement it. Let me know how you go.

Much love to you and of course, myself.

Dr G

If you want to find out more about coaching, email me at
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