Words to Live By – Six Ways to Breathe Life into Your Day
By: Joy Fisher-Sykes
We’ve heard the instructions many times over. There is
such familiarity that many people can almost recite them
verbatim. In fact, these directives are so crucial; they are
printed on placards and demonstrated visually by the staff.
They are so important that they can’t wait until you are
airborne to share. I’m talking about the life-saving
instructions on what to do in case of an emergency that
airline passengers receive on every flight before they’re
airborne. Given without fail around the globe daily, millions
often sit back and ignore flight attendants by reading a
magazine, speaking to a neighbor, or simply becoming
annoyed at the disruption of quiet. The highlight of the
Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will fall from
the ceiling in front of you. If you are traveling with small
children, place the mask on yourself first, then place a mask
on the child.
Who would have thought for decades the airline industry
has been sharing with millions of people a valuable life
A Life Lesson
At first blush, this directive seems absurd. After all, when
you travel with a child, an adult’s natural inclination says
children first. Period. No matter the circumstance. However,
consider that our emotional side is not always logical.
Ponder the life lesson to be learned here. If you do not put
your mask on yourself first, if you’re not breathing, how in
the world can you ever help that child, yourself, or anyone
Learn to Breathe
Many of us choose to give our oxygen away all the time.
How many times have you felt the “pressure” and a sense of
not being able to cope, not able to breathe? Did you take a
deep breath or did you just trudge along depleting your
reserves to none? A life on empty has nothing to offer to
either you or others. When we fail to see the value of taking
care of self before others, we fail to see we can be of no good
to anyone unless we choose to take the first breath. Sound
selfish? Perhaps, however, it is the only way you can
survive. Remember, lack of oxygen causes death – to the
mind, the body, and the spirit.
Six Ways to Honor Yourself Daily
What holds true for life in the air holds true for the life we
lead on the ground. On a daily basis practice these life-
saving strategies to breathe life into your day.
1. Value Time
Time is your most precious commodity that can never be
replaced or replenished. Be selective about how and with
whom you choose to spend your time. Make every minute
count because each is precious.
2. Cut the Umbilical Cord
Lighten your load and learn to let go. Stop dragging around
the troubles of everyone in the world. Constantly trying to
solve problems for others not only weighs you down, it
denies others the opportunity to learn that they can survive
and thrive. Experience breeds personal growth and power.
Allow those you love the opportunity to grow. Know that
sometimes the best gifts you can offer are your constant
love and support and allowing others to resolve their own
3. Maintain Strong Bonds
The real value in relationships is maintaining a connection.
Whether you are near or far, don’t allow the busyness of life
to let time slip away. Make a conscious effort to connect
with friends and family on a regular basis.
4. Choose Your Friends Wisely
You become the people with which you choose to surround
yourself. Be very selective with whom you choose to spend
your time. Time is a precious commodity you can never get
back. Once time is gone, it’s lost forever. Refuse to spend
time with others who choose not to honor you.
5. Be Courageous
Have the courage to step up and say what needs to be said
and do what needs to be done. Possess the courage to
practice what you know to be true. Question not whether
everyone likes you all of the time (because they never will).
Instead, ask, “Does it really matter if those who choose to
disrespect and dishonor me don’t like me?”
Celebrate every breath you take and every memory you
create. Life is a meant to be a daily celebration. Celebrate all
of life’s victories – large and small. Don’t let the calendar
dictate special occasions. Every day use the fine china,
crystal, and silverware. Celebrate today because life is so
precious, and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Take nothing for
granted and celebrate all life has to offer.
Follow these simple life strategies and you’ll find you can
breathe a whole lot easier. This valuable life lesson – take a
breath - is not to be taken lightly. Ignore it and you’ll find
yourself depleted of oxygen, weary and worn. Practice it and
you’ll breathe new life into your day and have an
appreciation for life that all can follow. Now those truly are
words to live by.
About the author:
Joy Fisher-Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and leading expert in the areas of leadership, communication skills, stress management, customer service, and team
building. You can e-mail her at
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at (757) 427-7032. Go to her web site,
http://www.thesykesgrp.com,and signup for her newsletter, OnPoint, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional."