Resilience & Relationships

In the seven years since I published Your Oxygen Mask First, and after making hundreds of presentations around the world, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the principles of the book and about what we need to survive and thrive.

Most importantly, we need to build and maintain our resilience, the key ingredient that allows us to sustainably and continually grow as we move through the challenges in world.

But it’s about more than surviving those challenges. Resilience enables us to thrive through all the circumstances life throws our way – through the amazing things that come, and the really hard things that test us and, ultimately, make us stronger.

To do that, we need the right habits, resources and people around us, otherwise we succumb and become stuck in a victim-like state.

This is about giving yourself permission to put yourself first.

It’s about making your needs an unwavering priority,

so you are strong and resilient enough to be of service to others.

– Your Oxygen Mask First

May is Mental Health Month

I’m writing this, fresh from giving a presentation to the staff at our client Medix, headquartered in Chicago. This company, as a strong advocate for good mental health, provides lots of resources, education and support for their team.

This third presentation to their whole company reinforced to me the need for not just one but an ongoing conversation about mental health and resilience because new people are always joining the company and circumstances are always changing for people already there.

A great shout out to CEO Andrew Limouris and his team, at Medix who create a workplace that encourages great, open conversations. It’s the foundation people need to reach out and be there, for each other when times get tough – personally or professionally.

Relationships are Everything

It can be hard to reach out for help – for me, at least – and, sometimes, it doesn’t feel good to admit that things aren’t going well.

So, the relationships and strong bonds we form through the camaraderie of working together, year after year, can become a big part of the support and resources we need to stay resilient.

It helps to talk to someone you trust when dealing with a family situation with our kids or parents, a health problem or an issue one of our team members.

As Medix CEO Andrew Limouris and I talked about the value of making friends with people who are on a similar path to you – often found later in life – I thought about the amazing relationships and resources I have built through the work that I’ve done with people around the world.

We help each other when times get rough.

The Challenge

    • What do consistently you do to recharge your batteries and maintain your resilience?


Your Oxygen Mask First. Here are links to two chapters you may find useful:


Assessment Tool

An interview with one of us who had a close call.

Professional help.

Don’t forget there are psychologists and counsellors who dedicate their lives to helping people when they need it.

9-8-8 hotline for mental health and suicide prevention support.

Free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Trained crisis responders will listen to you and provide support with compassion, providing a safe space for you to talk.


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