There’s nothing selfish about investing in yourself

As good as it feels to exercise our altruistic muscles and do good for the sake of doing so, occasionally we have to look inwardly, and focus on helping and improving ourselves in order to improve the quality of our service, and increase our ability to do good.

The analogy drawn by motivational speaker Sebastian Terry, motivational speaker, is the advice given to flight passengers.

“On a plane you’ll hear ‘in an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling’, and they’ll say ‘put yours on first, and then help others’,” says Terry.

The parallel to draw is that unless you take the time to help and invest in yourself, you won’t be able to provide the best advice, guidance, and service possible to those around you.

“It’s about looking after yourself through a meaningful list of things, and by doing that you’ll be much more productive, and able to help others do the same, whether that’s personal or professional,” says Terry.

This meaningful list of things can be personal, career-driven, or business goals, but so long as they’re significant to you, you’ll be able to achieve them and reap the benefits of accomplishment.

“I think that if the values of the company are understood and you, as an employee, align with those values and the mission and the goals of that organisation, you can all move forward together,” says Terry.

“Once you know and become a very productive work team, you can then offer your clients, your customers, and your peers, a much better product, or much better service.

“By understanding who you are and who your company is, and working effectively together in harmony, you can help others.”

Terry rose to fame when he set out to complete a list of 100 goals – motivated by the tragic death of his close friend.

“I think personal goals and business goals are very much under the same umbrella of life goals,” he says.

“I think goals for yourself contribute towards goals for your family, your friends, and your community; of course what you do professionally is in amongst all of that too.”

”All your goals should be relevant to you and based upon your values.” – Sebastian Terry

His secret to sticking to those commitments is to choose goals that are significant to you, rather than simply being arbitrary.

“If you’re creating a list in the first place which is comprised of meaningful goals that are anchored very much to your values, then naturally you’ll develop a desire to get them done,” says Terry.

“The first step is always action, so if you just take one step in a direction that’s meaningful to you, the second step will follow, and the third, and you’ll end up crossing that finish line.

“Eventually you create a behaviour of positive actions, all toward your goals.”

While most of Terry’s goals are more unusual than typical business goals over a quarter or financial year, he says that so long as both sets of goals are meaningful to the person trying to achieve them, the distinction is irrelevant.

“The issue is we often think there has to be a work-life balance, and the two are separate, but they’re actually very intertwined,” says Terry.

“I think no matter what the goals are – personal or professional – they all must be underpinned by relevancy.

“All your goals should be relevant to you and based upon your values.

“If you’re able to do that, you end up living a very purpose-driven lifestyle.”

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