Fix Yourself First

Fix Yourself First is the age-old adage of putting your oxygen mask on first before you attempt to help others.
Because if you can’t breathe and you are about to die it’s not likely that you’re going to be able to help anybody else.
It sounds obvious but so few of us do it in our real lives or in our businesses.

I have identified five areas to fix yourself. The five F’s of fixing yourself first.

1. Fitness,
2. Family
3. Friends
4. Faith
5. Fortune

I believe and it is only a belief, there is no scientific evidence to back this up, that if you take care of yourself in the first four areas, the fifth area and the final area is a consequence of the others.
Although there are training topics on finance, I believe if you get these other areas right, you will take care of the fortune too.

What is your fortune?

What is your real wealth, and what would you trade for that?
Are you truly wealthy already?
Not the physical assets, but some of the things we will think about during this training topic.
I want you to concentrate on yourself first, and make sure we have our proverbial oxygen mask on
before we help anybody else.
Because, as I said at the beginning, it sounds obvious, but are we doing it?

Are we taking care of ourselves?

The first area we’re going to look at is fitness.

By fitness, I don’t mean we’re going to start competing in triathlons.

I am referring to health and well-being, your personal health and well-being.

Because, if you don’t make time for your health now, you better be prepared to give it a whole lot more time later.

That time, when our body decides that enough is enough, won’t be of our choosing, it definitely won’t be the point that the business would choose.

It’s going to be at the most inconvenient time because the decline in your health is probably going to coincide with other things that are going on in your life as well.

Are you looking after your health and well-being?

Firstly, your mental health.

This is an area that I’m not qualified to talk about.

In fact, I know very little about it.

But I have a theory, I have this idea that if we get these other areas of our lives right.

The chances are our mental health will be fairly good.

Obviously, I’m not a qualified psychologist, but I’m sure that if we act in line with our belief systems and nothing’s pulling us in the wrong direction.

When everything is in alignment, we tend to be happier.

That’s just my own personal theory, and it’s something I’ve seen time and time again.

Sadly, a number of people I have known, have for one reason or another decided to take their own lives.

For most of them, I would suggest the reason that they were so unhappy, that they would rather not be here, was because some part of their life wasn’t in alignment with another part.

Something I call a Value Action Gap.

When your behaviors are not aligned with your beliefs.

If your value action gap gets too big it can cause real problems.

What are you doing for your own mental health?

Do you get enough sleep?

Are you getting enough quality sleep?

These are simple things, basic things you can do.

You don’t need any expert advice.

You just need to make sure you go to bed with nothing on your mind.

Don’t just have a cup of coffee, a Red Bull or any other stimulant before you try to go to sleep.

By stimulant, I don’t just mean caffeine and the like.

I also mean put down your electronic devices before you go to bed.

A good half hour, maybe an hour before, switch off all electronic devices, including the phone.

Read a book and you’ll just drift off and you will have a much better sleep.

Make sure you’re giving yourself time for that sleep.

Is your work-life balance in order?

Are you taking enough holidays?

I can’t answer that for you. Only you can answer.

But do you take the same number of holidays/days off that the government thinks is the minimum?

Do your staff get more than you?

Ask yourself why?

Do you have any interests outside of work?

This is really important, it gives you a different perspective, and you meet different people.

Do you have a hobby?

Something to take your mind off work?

Next is your physical health.

Are you doing the simple things around your physical health?

That means we will be around a bit longer to make sure that our business survives and thrives, or that we get a long and fruitful retirement.

Once again simple stuff, like your weight, your diet, and the amount you drink.

Get yourself outdoors. Go for a walk.

Set yourself some minor fitness goals. We’re not talking about running marathons yet.

If you want to, you can. That can be your new hobby.

Join a running club. But that’s not really what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about are just tiny little changes in these areas of health and wellbeing, that are more disease prevention than cure.

We all probably eat a little bit too much, weigh a little bit too much and drink a little bit too much.

These are simple changes you can make tomorrow that will have an impact on your health.

So set yourself modest goals for your weight, your diet and your general healthiness and your general well-being.

The next area is family and friends, what I call your Network.

There is a saying you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. It’s a fact.

Some people will be incredibly blessed and have an incredibly strong and supportive family network that is incredibly good for them.

However, some of you won’t be so fortunate, but you can choose how much time you spend around your family. You can choose whether or not the negative traits that come from your family will have a continued impact on you.

However, your friends, you can definitely choose.

Choose the people you spend time with carefully.

 It’s a well-known saying, your network is your net worth.

You are the average of the five people you hang around most. 

We morph into the people we spend the most time with.

That’s our friends and family.

When asked what their core values are, lots of people say they would like to be a better parent or a better husband, wife or partner.

Yet they find themselves doing the opposite. (It’s that value Action Gap Again).

They’re not acting congruently with their values.

Simply because they spend more and more time at work.

If you are striving to be a better family person or you want to spend more time around your friends.

Why are you spending more than 50 hours a week at work?

Ask the people that you value the most, the people who are your real wealth, your real fortune, because would you swap your family for any amount of money?

Probably not.

So ask them the people that you value most, what would they prefer?

Another gift or another hour?

Think about your own childhood.

What memory do you treasure?

The quality time you spent with people? Or do you remember the gifts they give you?

It’s worth spending a few minutes thinking about.

Yet it’s something you can change tomorrow?

Just let someone know at work that you’re not going to be there first thing and take the kids to school, pick them up, and do that once a week.

It’s worth its weight in gold.

Spend more time with the people who matter.


This isn’t your religion, it’s what you believe in.

However, if religion is part of your belief system, then it is about that too.

We all have some core values, things that we believe in.

However, we don’t take the time to work out what they are.

What is your why? Simon Sinek’s book is great and does a deep dive into Why.

If you discover your why, your purpose for existing, and you communicate that purpose to everyone, everything falls into place.

This is why faith is so important, it is what you believe in.

What are your core values?

Use these core values to set your vision for your personal life, and your vision will inform every decision.

It’ll become easy to say yes or no to things because they will either be in line with your vision, or they won’t.

Once you are focused because you’ve written that vision down somewhere, you’ve made yourself aware of exactly what your vision and purpose is, you’re away. There will be no stopping you.

Mark Twain said that the two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you realised why you were born.

That is pretty powerful stuff.

This brings me back to the value action gap.

The value action gap is the discrepancy between your values and your behaviours.

It’s this gap that I believe brings a lot of unhappiness into people’s lives because they’re not living congruently with their values.

Or the values they are living by, are what they think is expected of them.

Do not live someone else’s vision.

Live your own Vision

That comes back full circle to what is your purpose.

What is your why?

Because once you know your purpose, the reason why you were born, you can begin to align your behaviours which will drive the results.

I urge you to make small, not big radical changes because you won’t stick to them.

But you must consider first what you are willing to give up for what you want to change.

Because every action has an equal and opposite reaction, these are universal laws of the universe.

If you are going to do something new, it must replace something.

So you can compound the effect.

If you then decide to do something that’s a positive action, make sure you remove something that is a negative action.

For example, you might want to exercise more, then you might need to give up an hour in the pub.

If being in the pub is your positive space. Make an extra hour for being in the pub by leaving work earlier.

It’s as simple as that. But you must consider what you’re willing to give up to make the improvement.

To make your life better you must fix yourself first.

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