Make your ‘self’ a priority
“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody” – Bill Cosby
Tony Gaskins said, “Don’t neglect yourself while you’re taking care of everyone else. Your help is no good if you lose yourself in the process”. In my years as a personal development coach, my priceless advice to my mentees has always been that the greatest hindrance to personal development is personal neglect.
Investing in yourself isn’t selfish; it’s the most worthwhile thing you can ever do. One of the safety procedures in aircraft emergency is to first put on your own oxygen mask before attending to others, even if it is your child! As it is in aircraft emergency, so it is generally in life. Most times, in a bid to find others, we neglect the most important thing in life-finding ourselves. The ultimate search in life is not for things, money, job or power. Life’s ultimate search is in finding and discovering ourselves. Helen Keller said, “What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me”.
Raymond Hull once said, “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away”. Don’t ever lose yourself in a bid to find someone else and don’t wander away from yourself to get close to somebody else. Contrary to popular belief, one of the greatest signs of maturity is making yourself a priority. Selflessness is not neglect of self! Mandy Hale said, “It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary”. It has been continuously reiterated in different forms that we can’t give what we don’t have.
Michel de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne and one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance said, “The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself”. The most important decision of your life, the one that will affect every other decision you make, is the commitment to love and accept yourself. It directly affects the quality of your relationships, your work, your free time, your faith, and your future. Be there for others but never leave yourself behind. When you are saying ‘YES’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘NO’ to yourself.
Maya Angelou said, “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option”. In life, there will always be someone who can’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you! There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t even jump puddles for you. It is really tough to lose someone you love but it’s even worse to lose yourself while loving them.
The greatest love is in loving yourself. You can never love people more than you love yourself. In her song that was nominated for the Grammy award ‘’The greatest love of all,’’ Whitney Houston made the world to realize that the greatest form of love is self-love. She concluded in the last line of the chorus:
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all.
I really want to reach out to every parent to teach their wards how to love themselves. The origin of abuse stems from when people start looking ‘outside’ for what they already have ‘inside’! Self-love is one of the greatest antidotes to abuse. Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud and one of the pioneers of the field of psychoanalysis said, “I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time”.
I would like to reach out to the youths that are suffering from abusive relationships to reconsider and re-evaluate their values and readjust appropriately. Don’t ever lower your standard to feature in somebody else’s future. Mike Murdock said: “The ability to disconnect from people who abuse and misuse your life is a priceless one.” We must constantly carry out relationship audit and severe ourselves from toxic and destructive relationships. The greatest form of abuse is being in a relationship that doesn’t give you platform to be yourself, a relationship that is not in tandem with your core values. No matter the level of commitment in a relationship, we must never neglect ourselves in order to be there for our partner. Don’t defile yourself to defend your love for someone. The pertinent question is this: How do we make ourselves a priority?
MAKE YOUR DREAM A PRIORITY: In life, it is either you build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. Lady Gaga, said, “Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your dream will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams!
MAKE YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH A PRIORITY: Success is about learning to become the person capable of succeeding. Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become. Be dedicated to self-improvement and the continued learning. Jim Rohn, the #1 personal development coach in the world, said, “Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you’ll make a living, if you work hard on yourself you can make a fortune”.
MAKE YOUR HAPPINESS A PRIORITY: Never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s hand. When your fountain is from within, nobody can drain you. Learn to stay with people and in places that bring you joy.
MAKE YOUR GOALS A PRIORITY: You have a gold-mine when you have a goal-mind. Anthony Robins said, “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals that do not inspire them”. If you wake up without a goal, go back to sleep! The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going. Great people tie their lives to a goal. Albert Einstein said, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things”.
MAKE YOUR FAMILY A PRIORITY: Family is everything. Walt Disney said, “A man should never neglect his family for business”. Don’t work for 8 hours for a company and then go home to release all the stress and frustration on your family. Create quality time for your family.
MAKE SELF-LOVE A PRIORITY: Begin your day with self-love and not technology! Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed. You owe yourself the love that you freely give to other people. I have observed that lack of self-love attracts the wrong people into our life. When we don’t love ourselves deeply, we will always end up demanding from others the love we’re are not giving to ourselves. This is actually the origin of unhealthy expectations; it ultimately opens us up to abusive relationships. Once you start practicing self-love and self-acceptance, you’ll create the right conditions for love to find you. Amit Ray said, “Have love for your inner self and everything else is done for you.”
MAKE YOUR HEALTH A PRIORITY: Self-neglectful behaviour like poor eating and sleeping habits and self-destructive behaviours like drug abuse and alcohol consumption can be a strong contributor to the downward spiral of our mental and physical health. We must focus on healthy habits. Health is real wealth.
MAKE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD A PRIORITY: When God is not ‘first’, then every other thing is ‘false’! Joyce Meyer said, “If you will make time with God your first priority, everything else in your life will fall into place.” God will not give you your possession until you give him his position.
There is only one real problem in life and that is the problem of misplaced priority, every other thing is actually a challenge. The best way to help a man is to help him rearrange his priority. You are the only one that can make yourself a priority. To change your life, you need to change your priorities.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we pay less attention to the things that matter”. Your needs matter, your goals matter, your dreams matter, your life matters and your happiness matters. Make yourself a priority; you are worth it. It is a fundamental truth of life that no man will value you more than you value yourself. Don’t be the reason you don’t succeed.
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