Yesterday I wrote about the perils of falling for valentine traps set by intrepid retailers in which the prices of ordinary things if not purchased today cost 20-30% lower. I mean you do not need Hallmark or Interflora to be able to tell your loved ones you love them not after we started this challenge of not settling for less. Why not buy tomorrow the flowers will be cheaper so will the cards and the chocolates? However in your quest for personal excellence it imperative that at this level I share something with you regarding love.
You cannot love another person unless you truly learn the art of loving yourself, it is only when you have truly loved yourself that you can then be capable of loving the next person. I am not talking about that egoistical narcissist trip where you spend countless of hours in front of the mirror admiring yourself . It might appear selfish but we need to remind ourselves that only when we have done our best to make the most of our lives it is only when we be of great service to others, be it our families, friends, communities, co-workers e.t.c. Some people hide under the guise of public service as an escape from the responsibility that they have to of changing their own lives. They say that their friends should come first, their wife you come first, some say their church is first, that is why some people bury themselves in projects with boundless zeal to mask failings in their own lives.
Putting yourself first means basing your actions, your goals, your time-management and your life on how that will impact on your own self-improvement. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: human beings must meet their basic needs before they can move on to higher-level goals. Since most of us already know that we should take care of ourselves—but often have trouble figuring out how to do it, here are some guidelines for getting there:
- Preserve your physical health with adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
- Value your emotional health as much as the physical, with a support system of friends and a willingness to laugh—especially at yourself.
- Schedule fun activities on a regular basis—it’s just as important to plan pleasure as it is to plan work.
- Identify “busy behaviours” (or people) that drain your time and energy but aren't really important, then dump ‘em, or at least minimize their hold on you.
- Kill two birds with one stone, combining family time with exercise, for example, which benefits everyone involved.
- Try to look at the problems in your life with new eyes to find solutions. If you’re a new mum, for instance, see if you can trade childcare with another new mum to get some time for yourself.
- Learn to say “No!” Your “yes” is valuable and should not be automatic. Instead, reserve it for the things that are most important to you.
- Don’t try to change every problem area in your life all at once. Start with one or two items, then expand as you get things under control.