Have you ever gotten on a plane and as part of the safety talk that they give prior to take off, you hear something to the effect of in the event that the cabin loses pressure and oxygen masks drop from overhead, that you should get yours on first before you help anyone else (including your own children)? Why is that?
Well think about it in terms of a more common situation that might occur. Let’s say a relative asks to borrow money from you. If you were strapped for cash yourself at the time, you probably had to decline, assuming you would lend them money if you had it, that is. I think we all have “those” kinds of relatives where we might say no even if we did have it to lend. The moral of the story is that you can’t help someone if you’re not doing so well yourself. You have to be operating at optimal capacity in order to relieve someone else. In other words, you have to stay in tune with your star player just like Katt Williams said in one of his stand up shows.
So back to the oxygen mask example – you are in no position to aid someone with their mask if you don’t have your shit together first. I’m all for helping a fellow human out, but only in the event that I’m flourishing as well. Now I realize that sounds pretty selfish at face value, but I’m not saying that I’m not lending out favors until I’m a millionaire with a house on the hill. I’m saying that I can’t be doing worse or just as bad as the person asking for the help. It’s nothing personal, I just know that I need to be able to count on me and what I can do for myself (i.e. my star player) instead of banking saved up favors from others that I may or may not be able to cash in on later, and I certainly may need that bank sooner than the borrower may be able to return.
In short, make sure you are functioning ideally before you go out saving other people. You’re better prepared to provide assistance when you’re performing in a peak state.