The Profound Life Lesson of Oxygen Masks

We hear it each time we get on the airplane. “In case of a cabin pressure emergency, put on your own mask first before assisting others.”

A simple concept that makes sense.  You can’t help others for very long if you don’t take care of yourself first.  And yet, how many of us carry on assisting others with their oxygen masks and giving little thought to how long our own oxygen supply will keep us going or if the mask is even on?

What if, in life, you metaphorically put your oxygen mask on first, not because you’re selfish, but because you can do more -- for others and for yourself -- if you prioritize your own needs?  It can be counterintuitive.  But, imagine a life where you have more energy, more time and are more positive. In this scenario you’re more present with others and more creative.  Who doesn’t want that?  What family, work environment and world doesn’t need or want that?

What’s that look like? 

Nourish your body, mind and soul: Eat well, meditate, create.  Create time to do this.  If that means getting up at 4:30am in the morning to make time, do it. Cultivate compassion towards yourself and find courage to move toward creating the life you want, in any small way. Today. 

Don’t put off the joy:  Find a piece of joy in as many small life moments as possible.  Walk in the sun at lunch. Call your friend for drinks. Take the kids hiking or to the movies. Today. Not this weekend.

Inspire yourself: What inspires you?  Whether it is music, art, literature, nature, people or something else, make it happen. Turn the music on at work, call someone, read a poem.  Pull yourself out of the daily grind with a small piece of inspiration. 

Find time for Reflection and Gratitude: Take a moment to broaden your perspective. Where have you come from, where are you going and what is your place in a vast expanding universe? 

As Carl Sagan said: “We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”

Considering that perspective, it makes sense to just make the time for what you need and want.  On this plane called life, we are all going down. It ends the same for everybody. So, put on your own mask first. Take responsibility for meeting your own needs. Right now. Today. Not this weekend.

-HU




Human Unlimited
Human Unlimited

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8 Comments

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I’ve commented on popular blogs late in the game after the initial “feeding frenzy” was done, and still got a solid amount of traffic because of the relevancy of the comment itself.
Every blog is different, and over time each blog’s particular “window” should appear more clear to you. If you’re targeting a blog you’re less familiar with, it’s best to try to post early at first and see what kind of impact you see. Then you can experiment by changing certain components around (speed, type of comment, etc). That’s where measuring the results of commenting comes into play.
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September 21, 2020

If you aren’t already familiar with your target list of blogs, you may want to spend a few days just reading their content and getting familiar with their style and community of commenters. Make sure you know the lay of the land before diving in and commenting.
As an example, one of my comments on Moz has generated 25 visits in the last few weeks and is the 14th comment. A visitor has to do a substantial amount of scrolling before seeing that comment, but because that community expects to see great information in the comments as well, it still generates a fair amount of traffic.
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September 21, 2020

If you’re focusing on comment marketing as a reputation and branding effort, you can place more importance on popularity and relevancy, and less importance on the ease of the click-through. Examples for a search company might include
The obvious way to do this is to use an RSS reader. Personally, I like to use Hootsuite for this. I create a separate tab that houses my RSS feeds so I can glance at them whenever I check my other networks and leave a comment early on a new piece of content.
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