Putting on your oxygen mask first

Putting on your oxygen mask first

In August 2020, I was speaking with a lot of friends and people in my network who were feeling overwhelmed. A consistency across them was that they were overextending themselves. They wanted to help others that they loved (which is a very noble reason for overextending themselves) and doing everything possible to step in and do so, whilst also wanting to control the outputs of whatever inputs they were putting in.

The advice that I gave them at the time was that:


If you really want to help others over the long-term and sustainably, you're going to need to be around and functioning optimally. You don't want to burn yourself out. In the long-term, it's a much better strategy to put on your oxygen mask first.

I now find myself feeling a tad burned out (mentally and physically). And I think it's time I take my own advice.

Do not explain your philosophy. Embody it. —Epictetus

Or as the lyrical genius of our time said:

I talk a lot of shit and practice what I preach. —Lil Wayne

Written: October 20, 2020

Additional Resources:

  • Dichotomy of Control. Best explanation of read of this is from the book "Guide to the Good Life"
  • Radical Acceptance