In preparation for take-off, every airline flight reviews the safety proceedures the plane has. And on every fight the crew says the same thing about what you should do if the air mask bags should deploy at any time during the flight.

            Put your own mask on first, you are told, even before assisting small children and disabled people. We’ve all heard that every time we’ve flown, because every flight attendent has the same message, regardless of the airline.

            Put your own mask on first.

            It makes perfect sense of course. Even though the first inclination would be for us to help others with their masks first (especially small children or people who need assistance), the reality is that once we have ours in place and fully functioning, we will then be in a better position to help others who need our help.

            Help yourself first, then turn your attention to helping others. That is the clear message being sent on every flight that you will ever take.

            That is a great way for airlines to operate, and it’s a great way for all of us to operate as well…in the air, or on the ground!


           Being a selfless person is a noble trait. Putting the needs of others ahead of yourself is commendable to be sure. What you give you get after all, so showing kindess and compassion to others is a sure sign that when you need kindness and compassion in return, it will come to you.

            Got that. But the person who most needs to be loved and looked after by you is – YOU. And that is not selfish. That is self-love, and it is something that all of us need to do for OURSELVES.

            Most of us hope to be able to positively impact the lives of other people in some way. Most human beings, when you dig deep down, are caring and want to help others. Some people make that their priority, even over their own needs.

            That’s very selfless. That’s very noble. It’s also not necessary - and also not advisable in most cases.

            Our greatest opportunity to positively effect someone else’s life is to positively work on our own. Do you want to be someone who gives money to charity for instance? Well you can’t give what you don’t have. People who are broke can’t help people who need money. They don’t have any to give.

            Do you want to teach someone an important skill or trait that can make their lives better? Well you can’t teach what you don’t know. A great teacher in any walk of life has to learn and understand the material fully before they can successfully pass it on to someone else. It takes years of learning – decades usually in fact – to be a qualified teacher in any field. You can teach somebody else a skill you don’t already have.

            We all want love. It’s the human universal need. But until we learn to really love ourselves, the love we give to others will never really be complete. Parents are always trying to make their children feel good about themselves and love them unconditionally – but how can that be passed on to any child by someone who deep down doesn’t feel that way about themselves? The best learning tool any parent can give to a child is a good example.

            If you want to be a great philantrophist, then go out and make a lot of money and then give it away if you must! If you want to be a great teacher or mentor, get the formal education or life experience first, then pass that on to someone who yearns to be taught what you already know. If you want to spread your love around please do, the world is crying for that – but make sure you start at home. With yourself.

            Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. Talk to yourself that way too. The more happy, successful, smart and rich you become will give you that much more to give to others.

            Self-love is not narcissm, because you deserve to give yourself the best before you give the world your best.

            Put your own mask on first.




    Thanks for reading! Please check out our TEAMMATES podcasts with Chris DePiero, Jim Rooney and Roger Lajoie at, and if you’d like more information about our personal coaching, email

            Have a great week!



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Nobody deserves your love more than YOU do so put your own mask on first!




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