Save the world by starting with yourself
Save the world by starting with yourself.
It sounds counterintuitive, right?
The problems of the world are so big, and we feel like as individuals we are so small, that how could we possibly make a difference by focusing on ourselves?
Dr. Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life, has even been mocked for suggesting this "save yourself first" principal.
Let's go beyond the typical "Adults, put on your oxygen masks first" example.
Let's focus on something front and center and current: COVID and obesity.
Since the beginning of the COVID era, it's been clear that obesity puts one at increased risk for hospitalization and death. In fact, according to this recent study, "patients with a B.M.I. of 45 or higher, which corresponds to severe obesity, were 33 percent more likely to be hospitalized and 61 percent more likely to die than those who were at a healthy weight, the researchers found."
According to to the CDC, "Having obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection. Obesity is linked to impaired immune function. Obesity decreases lung capacity and reserve and can make ventilation more difficult."
Why was much of the world locked down during the past year? Because of COVID hospitalization and death rates.
We know that obesity was a major factor in high hospitalization and death rates.
Therefore, obesity played a role in lockdowns, which resulted in lost jobs, disrupted lives, and mental health issues.
Now, you might argue that some, perhaps a lot of, cases of obesity are not able to be controlled by individuals. Okay.
However, the American Psychological Association reports that 42% of Americans reported weight gain during COVID, and of those Americans, the average weight gain was 29 pounds.
So, let's go back to "saving the world by saving yourself."
If your city, state, or country is being locked down due to rising COVID hospitalization and death rates, and much of those rates is spurred by obesity...
What if each of those 42% of Americans had focused on his or own health?
What if each of those 42% of Americans, instead of focusing on his or her neighbor, or other Americans, or social media, or Fox News/MSNBC, had decided he or she was going to do a service to the community by eating healthier and getting more exercise?
It's easy to look at that 42% as one big cloud of people, or a big community.
But it's made up of individuals who made individual decisions about what they eat and how they move.
Individual decisions move the world.
Save yourself first to save the world.
Now, some would say that focusing on yourself and being an individual is selfish.
But, given the above statistics, I'd say that thinking goes both ways.
Enough about COVID and obesity.
How about any area of your self-care?
How about your parenting?
How about how you're building your career and your business?
Individual decisions by individuals move the world.
In my book, I discuss the importance of aligning the three facets of your life: Relationships, Self, and Work.
It's easy to feel "selfish" about investing in your self-care.
But here's the deal: You're no good to your loved ones if you're dead.
You're no good to your business or your clients if you're dead.
If you're not at 100%, it's likely your business and your relationships won't be at 100%.
Hate him if you want, but Jordan Peterson is right.
Clean your room.
Get your shit in order.
In doing so, believe it or not, you'll be helping to save the world.