Someone recently asked me, "Who is the most important person on earth?" I had to stop and think about this. Was this a trick question? If I picked my wife, how would my kids feel? If I said one of my kids specifically, how would the other two feel? If I said that my mom is the most important person (and she's very important to me), what would would my dad think? At the risk of sounding conceited and full of myself, I humbly answered and declared: "I am the most important person on earth!" just like the person I was speaking with is the most important person on earth in his world.
Now before you stop reading here and think "Great! More 'me' focused people. Just what our world needs.", I encourage you to keep reading. The reason why I believe each of us is the most important person on earth is because we are the only ones who can take 100% responsibility for our lives. I am responsible for my decisions, my actions, and the consequences that result from these decisions and actions. If I want to focus on my health and fitness, I need to make better choices about what I eat and how much I exercise. And no matter how hard I have tried in the past, I can never outrun fast food. It wins every time! And guess what else? Nobody can do my pushups for me! I simply can't benefit from your effort at the gym. So when I take the full responsibility, I suspend the right to complain and blame others for my failure to achieve. I own it! I own the process, the action (or lack of) and the results! Period.
So why does this matter? Well, when we take 100% responsibility for our lives and lead ourselves exceptionally well, it puts us in the best possible position to be useful, valuable, energized and engaged in the lives of other people who depend on us for collaboration, contribution and commitment. We make the best use of our talents, passions, knowledge, skills and attitudes to help add value to others when we've done the heavy lifting of taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. When we prioritize our self-care, we prepare ourselves to help others know and feel that they are the most important people on Earth.