Imagine someone asking for your help, and you were really willing to do so; but there is a real problem…you’re hands are tied behind your back, you’re wearing a blindfold, and ear plugs too!
Sounds a bit impractical doesn’t it? But in reality isn’t that what often happens, as we strive to go over-and-beyond when trying to help others, and accommodate their needs; whilst overlooking one small thing – ensuring we are actually in a position to be able to help.
Based upon the simple adage of we can’t give what we don’t have, is surely the same simple principle of putting our own oxygen mask on first – in an emergency landing situation – before putting others’ masks on?
There are many excellent schools of thought about our human needs, and what actually serves us best. For me personally, I have yet to come across anything that equals the ‘Six Human Needs’ model (Robbins).
The model addresses how we all have four core human needs: Certainty, Uncertainty (or Variety), Significance, and Love & Connection; progressing to then highlight that – once these basic needs have been met – there are a further two higher, spiritual needs: Growth, and finally…Contribution.
Let’s do a simple starter exercise, by asking yourself how you are meeting your own six needs? Even simpler, just select one of the needs – perhaps Certainty – and ask yourself… ‘Am I meeting my need for certainty in a positive or negative way?’
Classic (negative) examples include staying in a dead-end job or loveless relationship too long; preferring the certainty of ‘better the devil you know!’ rather than cutting the ties, and starting afresh – thereby meeting the need in a more self-serving way.
So, learn to ask yourself two all-important questions…
‘Are my needs being met in a truly self-empowering, positive way?’
‘Are my needs being met strongly enough for me to then be able to help others?’
In other words, is your oxygen tank full?
Written by Paul. D Lowe