Put On Your Oxygen Mask First

One major point of my book Your Oxygen Mask First – is that the missing part of the equation is that everyone talks about work-life balance. That conventional wisdom is the worst idea in the world for high performers.

There’s another factor that’s not being considered – and that’s you.

If you want to sustain, in the long term, and really love this experience of life, you have to focus on your work, your life and this thing called ‘self’ that has to be in the equation. Otherwise, you get squished out and sooner or later pay a big price.

Actually, you need to learn to be a lot more selfish. It’s a bad word, taboo in our society. You’re supposed to be a servant leader, to eat last and all those other beautiful concepts, but if you’re summiting Everest you can’t do that. You have to have a plan to keep yourself strong and resilient – to talk about resilient rituals for body, mind and spirit. If you don’t, sooner or later, you’ll pay the ultimate price and get destroyed.

There are lots of people in popular media you can look to – Amy Winehouse, Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade – very highly talented, wickedly successful people. How did that happen? It’s really easy.