Live With a "Me First" Mentality

Live With a "Me First" Mentality

Healthy happiness starts with putting yourself first

Let me start this topic with the following question: When was the last time you took a plane ride?

I have flown on so many planes that I have just about memorized the safety demonstration the flight attendants perform before the plane catapults us all into the air. I like the safety demonstrations. It's important to know what to do in the event of a crash, although they sometimes term it in less scary terms, like a "water landing."

The main reason I like the presentation is that I enjoy planning ways to get out of life-threatening situations. Therefore, hearing the safety talk gives me comfort. I at least have a plan of action if my plane starts having issues.

Like I've said, I have heard these demonstrations a lot, but every time the flight attendants talk about what to do if the oxygen masks come down, I pay attention. They always advise to "Apply the oxygen mask to yourself, and then to the person or child next to you."

They assume that everyone on the plane knows the basic truth that if you are not breathing in oxygen from said mask in an oxygen-depleted plane that is crashing, you cannot help anyone else because you will be unconscious (and probably on the way to being dead because you need oxygen to live).

I think we can apply this logic to our lives outside of the airplane terminal.

The plane is your life, the airplane seat is where you are right now (your job, relationship status, etc.), and you are buckled in for a ride to your destination, which is your goal. You have put a lot of effort in accomplishing said goal, but the journey is not over yet... a lot can still go wrong. Sometimes, our lives are wrecked because of outside sources.

If your life, your "plane ride," starts experiencing issues and the "oxygen masks" come down because a life crisis is happening, you need to grab that oxygen mask for yourself. The crisis could be anything –– a failed exam, death of someone you know, financial burdens piling up, or something else.

Your lifeline, your oxygen mask, could be the friends and family supporting you, the passions that make life meaningful when everything else is bleak, or a beloved pet that knows exactly how to comfort you. Grab that oxygen mask and hold on tight, because you need help to get through this.

Choosing to help yourself when you need it does not mean you are weak –– it means you are strong enough to acknowledge you matter and taking care of yourself matters first. How will you take care of the things you need to do, or the people who need your help, if you are crashing?

Having a "Me First" mentality is beneficial for so many reasons, but let me highlight just a couple.

Think of all the million little connections you have with people during the day, from the grocery store line to the people you live with.

Think of all the ways you could improve your connections with others if you just took 45 minutes each day (yes, each day) for yourself to doodle, listen to that bumpin' music you love, or take an emergency nap. If you're depleted from goodness (oxygen), then you might not be thinking straight and end up saying some mean words to a loved one. Words can either wreck or improve someone's day. Stay connected to goodness to spread it to others.

Identify why your "airplane" is having issues. Is it that pesky ex who keeps messaging you? Say goodbye. Is it the landlady who never sprays your apartment for bugs, even though the bugs have been bugging you for a month now? Take action. Is it that soul-sucking fear that you will never achieve your dream? Make a plan to make your dream a reality (look at this article I wrote to help you with planning

The most important thing to do is to listen to your body's responses to life situations. By tuning out the distracting noises in your brain, you will start realizing what is good for you and what needs to be ditched. The following article gives some solid advice on how to do this essential part of the "Me First" mentality:

The "Me First" Mentality is healthy for us. If we take care of ourselves first more often, I predict we will be more joyous, buoyant, and open-minded people. If we all choose "Me First," then maybe we would have more meaningful interactions with others. I would like to live in a world when the norm is happiness instead of people getting burnt out because they never take time for themselves to recharge (or avoid depletion in the first place).

Overall, I am not asking "How long can you survive without your 'oxygen'?"

I am asking you to consider how long can you thrive with it.

Cover Image Credit: Marc Olivier Jodoin

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Being Ugly

What it means to me


Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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