Oxygen Mask Theory

At the beginning of all flights there is a ritual that I know that I certainly have stopped paying attention to. If you've watched it once you have for the most part seen it as many times as you need to. "Please direct you attention to your flight attendant as she walks you through the safety features of our wonderful airplane.....yada yada yada.....blah blah blah..." It was only recently that I found a gem in the routine of it. I was listening to a guest speaker in one of my classes talk about how she had had the chance to impact so many people and what the keys to her success were. One of the ideas that she brought up that stuck with me is the routine of Oxgen Masks. She pointed out that on airplanes when you are given instructions about oxygen masks the directions always emplore you to put your mask on first and then to assist those around you.

I had never thought anything about that, there was no significance in my mind to that statement, but upon further examination it helped me realize a few things. The reason you instructed to take care of yourself first is that you are no good to others if you are incapacitated. If you are not able to breathe, you will not be able to help those around you. What a great thought. I know that I have the tendency, as we all do, get so busy that we aren't focused on taking care of ourselves. We run ourselves ragged and then wonder why our world seems so routine and lifeless. I have done this more times than I can remember. But when I hit that point, I now know that if I will just take sometime alone and refocus my attention on the tasks at hand, that I will be refreshed and able to go on in a more effective and useful way.