"The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself."
~Bob Burg, The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
Bob Burg’s advice has never been more true. The most valuable gift we all have to offer is ourselves. There is nothing more valuable to many in this world in a time of uncertainty than someone reaching out to them with genuine caring and asking, “How are you?” or “Can I help?”
As Ninjas, that is exactly what we all want to do and we are uniquely positioned in our communities to be able to help. Whether you are fairly new to the Ninja System or you have been in the business for 30 years, you know it is all about relationships and you have built many throughout the community. You have business partners, family, and friends that are tied into the social fabric of your community and if someone needs help, you know how to find it. You can truly be the connection that finds the help that someone needs and that is your gift to offer. That is a great gift, but it can also feel like a big responsibility, so I want to offer you something else as well.
Permission. Permission to realize that in difficult times your first responsibility is to take care of your own emotional and physical health. Wait, what?
Hear me out for a minute. If you have flown on a commercial airline in the last 20 years, then you have heard the flight attendant say in the safety briefing, that “In the event of a cabin depressurization an oxygen mask will fall from the panel above your head. Please secure your own mask before securing the mask of those around you.” This is sage advice.
Think about the airplane analogy. If you don’t put on your own oxygen mask and pass out as a result, how much good will you be to those around you? Whereas, if you get your mask on first, then you will be able to assist those around you with their masks, ensuring their well being and safety.
If you are emotionally drained, physically and mentally stressed and in a low state yourself, how much energy and support do you have to lend to others in need? Wouldn’t you have much more to offer if you were being sure your emotional and physical health was in order? I initially thought this point of view sounded selfish, but, if you really think about it, it is quite the opposite.
To be able to help others, you have to take care of yourself. In times like these, we all want to give and help, and I encourage you to do so. You are a Ninja! That is what you do. It feels wonderful and fulfilling to help other people, but please don’t forget to take care of yourself. It is not selfish to take the time you need for yourself. How can we offer our greatest gift, ourselves, to others if we do not take the time we need to ensure our own oxygen mask is on first.
Consider this your permission to take the time you need to recharge so you can offer your greatest gift. Remember, some of the most powerful words you can ask another person are “How are you?” or “Can I help?” and have the emotional and physical energy to offer of yourself.