This was the opening of the 11 O’clock News in Western New York for years while I lived there. Only it asked, “Do you know where your children are?”

My question is all about you and who’s watching out for you? See, we are usually watching out for our children, spouses, parents, etc and not ...This was the opening of the 11 O’clock News in Western New York for years while I lived there. Only it asked, “Do you know where your children are?”

My question is all about you and who’s watching out for you? See, we are usually watching out for our children, spouses, parents, etc and not doing a good job investing in ourselves. And, this puts you at risk with others.

Women usually are very focused on their children. Men are very focused on their families and their jobs (bosses, clients, etc). However, if you where to ask the man or the women, they would probably say their partner is very self focused. That’s because the person complaining is doing a very poor job of taking care of him or herself and is building up resentments to the partner. The resentments stem from feeling as the victim who’s giving and not getting and this put you at risk. The bad news - don’t expect others to give to you. The good news - it’s better to give to you and you’ll feel terrific. I know this sounds weird, but it works. Don’t knock it until you try it.

My favorite line is from the airlines. They say, “When the oxygen mask comes down, put it on your face before you attempt to help others with theirs.” How come? Obviously it’s so you can be coherent enough to help others. The same is true in life. You have to care for you first. Easy to say and understand, yet very hard to implement.

So why don’t you and millions of others worldwide invest in themselves and take better care of themselves?

1. They are afraid that if they do, who will care for the children and the spouse? Well, you will and feel a whole lot better about it.

2. It’s uncomfortable. As exciting as it sounds to pamper yourself or better yourself, it doesn’t feel right.

Think of it this way. Suppose your kid came to you and said they wanted to take a course to improve him or herself. You’d probably give him or her the money and drive them every day. Suppose one of your kids said they were really feeling low and wanted to treat him or her self to a movie or a manicure or whatever. Again, you’d be right there.

But how come, when it comes to you, you can’t make the investment in you or treat yourself? Because somewhere you feel you’re tough and you should just get over it. Well, get over that thought. Only you can care for you. And if you’re waiting for some knight or maiden to come to your rescue, it’s not going to happen. Even your spouse knight or spouse maiden will not give you enough of, or the right kind of whatever is good for you. They don’t know how and even though they probably want to help, they are not inside your head and don’t have the capability to give you exactly what you want. Only you can do that.

3. People shame you.

Whenever I’ve taken a tennis lesson or golf lesson, all the guys that know about it start the razing. Additionally there is a self gauge that says, if I have to take a lesson then people will think I’m not that good.

Well, my hero is Tiger Woods. He’s really good and he has his coach Hank Haney and his caddy Steve William helping him constantly. People that want to get better and stay on top, hire coaches, take classes and get help from others.

Again, you’ve got to be the instigator of that because if you’re waiting for your boss or spouse to push you into it, you’ll wait until you’ve passed your window of opportunity to succeed. You’re peers and competitors will have passed you by. And for those who feel they can read a book. Well, it takes 6 readings and note taking and doing exercises until reading material or CDs becomes a part of your life. Just think of the last book you read. You probably can’t remember the author or the general plot - forget the details.

So here is the bottom line. Nobody is going to take care of you if you don’t do it for yourself. Why should they? If you don’t think that highly of you, why should they? Besides, they are subconsciously saying, “If I give to you, that’s going to eat into my free time, wallet, etc.”

If you’re not eager to learn and be better, why should a boss go out of his / her way to invest in you when there are other options of where to spend their budget. With the kids and the spouse, you’re their work horse. Why should they do it for themselves? You may push back on me here and say that you enjoy giving and making them happy. Well what is the problem of giving to yourself and making you happy as well? Think about this. You’re OK taking care of your kids or your spouse or your boss, but you’re reluctant to take care of the kid within you. This is not healthy and sooner or later it’s going to bite you i.e. resentments which lead to basic unhappiness and you’ll always wonder - as the movie On the Waterfront says, “I could have been a contender.”

I can say all of this because I’ve been there. I went through all of this, but I recovered. Now I’m extremely happy. I give to myself - golf lessons, play time, wine, exercise, etc. I invest in myself - I took a college course last spring. I’ve hired a mentor to help me with parts of my business. I work long hours because I love what I do. And then, I also give to my kids and try to help them any way I can and I feel great about the large life style they lead.

You have the right, the responsibility and the duty to take care of yourself first. Why - because if you do, you can take care of others better and you’ll have no regrets about your life. Remember the oxygen mask. Invest in yourself and you’ll be happy, make more money, and have job security and this will help the financial well being of your family. Pamper yourself and you’ll feel great as you greet your spouse and you’re kids. And you’ll be amazed how outwardly loving they are to you in return.

So - It’s 11 O’clock. Do you know where you are?

Author's Bio: 

Sam Manfer, CSP is a sales force development expert with a Who’s Who client list of Global Fortune 500‘s. His best selling book, TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER$ along with his CD’s and Advanced Sales Development workshops turns 30% closers into top 70% closers. Follow Sam’s C-Level Selling Blog: Sign-up for his monthly Selling Wisdoms: Watch a Free Mini-Course Video on Relationship Selling. Learn about Sam’s Sales Force Evaluations: Receive a complimentary system for Recruiting Sales Candidates; Get information on his One-on-One Coaching: Or just read his Selling Articles full of powerful selling insights at www.sammanfer.com