Back in the ’70s I was enamored with a book called Looking Out For #1 by Robert Ringer. The basic premise of the book, one of the New York Time’s 15 bestselling motivational books of all time, is you have to take care of yourself before you can be useful to anyone else.
In other words, put your oxygen mask on first!
You have to admit the title is a little off-putting, though, egotistical even, especially during this time of continual Donald Trump yammering.
If we believe that happiness comes from being our best, then maybe the idea of looking out for ourselves is a good one. Think about it: Is there anyone else qualified for the job?
Humble and kind
Two words swirl around me–humility and kindness. Be humble. Be kind.
These two words are a firm foundation to build our best self as we look out for number one. (Can you see the beginnings of the plan to be better so you can do better?)
Tim McGraw has a hit song that seems to be everywhere I turn. His lyrics are simple but the message is powerful.
An recent essay in a recent Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News describes a fourth grade teacher’s idea to remove all her classroom rules but one: Be kind.
The essay’s author writes about one woman’s decision to be kind to herself. “It’s a decision we make every day. We are in total control of decisions, our choices, our lives. I choose to love and I choose to be kind.”
If kindness is the goal, I believe we’re naturally humble, even when we’re taking care of ourselves.
Three more words
My friend Amy, a former Sunday school teacher and Jesus freak (My description and it’s a compliment), says Jesus’ messages can be summed up in three words–surrender, acceptance and love.
Add humble and kind and you have a winning full house hand, not to mention a recipe for a contented life.
I like knowing that a lifestyle with these five words in my heart and on my mind is always available to me. My simple-but-not-easy task is simply to put my oxygen mask on first and breathe them in.
When I keep my focus on me–looking out for #1–I am less likely to judge you, gossip about you or make fun of you.
Buddha said, “What we think, we become.”
If you want to look out for #1 today, let your thoughts focus on five words that will transform not only your thinking, but your place among women and men.
Humble. Kind. Surrender. Acceptance. Love.
Be AND do all these.
Photo courtesy of 5demayo