For the last couple of weeks I’ve been hammering the “start training, get in shape” party line down your throat.
If you’ve been getting these emails a while, you’ll know that was unusual for me – normally I talk about a much more balanced approached.
if you’ve seen any of my fitfam rants, you’ll know EXACTLY what I mean when I say it’s unusual for me – this blog would be a good example of that.
This morning though, I was reminded of a cold January morning in 2015 spent sitting in the conference room of The Twelve Hotel in Barna, Co. Galway.
There was only 10 of us in the room for what is probably the best seminar I’ve ever been at.
It’s one of those things you talk about years later, look at the other attendees in a room, exchange a knowing nod that says “I was there”.
During the seminar, Dax dropped the following image on us (below is my recreation of it, at least)
When I first looked at it, I was surprised. You probably are too. Isn’t putting yourself at the bottom, the most important part of the pyramid, very selfish?
Haven’t we been thought to look after others, to be there for people and sacrifice our needs if someone else supersedes them?
Doesn’t putting yourself first make you a bad person?
The answer is no – it does not. Because if you’re not there for yourself, eventually you won’t be there for anyone else either.
Think about it this way – when you’re on a plane, they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first before trying to assist anyone else. It’s a good analogy for life.
You’re no good to anyone if you’re burned out, exhausted or falling apart mentally. You might be able to help others for a while, but eventually you’ll break. And once you’ve broken – what good are you to anyone further up the pyramid?
Your friends, your family, everyone else?
Obvious answer is obvious. You’re no good for them at that stage.
..and if you’re an entrepreneur – “everyone else” also includes your business, your clients and all that jatz. Sounds scary right? Ignoring the people who give you €€.
But you’re not really, not if you actually understand what I’m telling you today – “looking after yourself first” doesn’t mean watching netflix and eating icecream.
It doesn’t mean going out on the piss with your mates.
Looking after yourself is about taking care of your physical, spiritual and emotional well being.
10 years ago I convinced myself that “looking after myself” included doing nothing but competing in powerlifting, and screw everyone that wasn’t on board with that. That wasn’t me looking after myself – THAT was me being selfish.
It worked out pretty well for me in the end – but I was lucky.
To be great at anything requires a degree of selfishness, it requires you to make sacrifices and it means you have to prioritise certain things over others.
BUT it doesn’t mean you have to let go of everything that doesn’t support you and your goals.
You can still go out and have fun. You can still party with mates. You can still have date nights.
…you might just not be able to do it EVERY night. And the people in your life who care about you will understand that – it’s not all or nothing.
TL;DR – plug your own holes first, cos if your ship is sinking no one is getting back to shore