Looking Out for Number One


High among the 21st century’s most widely adopted contributions to pop culture is certainly the “selfie.”

Think about it—just a few decades ago, if you wanted a nice photo of yourself, you needed to schedule a time with a professional “picture taker,” usually in a “photo studio,” and then you’d wait for a week to see some examples of what you looked like. And if you hated them, it was back to Step One, and start over.

Fast forward forty years, and today, you can create your own immediate series of headshots, constantly—if it’s a good hair day—and not only discard the few hundred that don’t do you justice, but share the good ones with the entire world at the click of an upload.

Depending on who you ask, selfies are either a true boon to humankind or a plague upon modern society. But there’s no arguing that taking a great selfie and sharing it with family and friends can make you feel good. And as such, it’s the very essence of “self-care.”

It wasn’t that long ago that “self-care” was too often equated with “selfishness”—a focus on the self at the expense of others and the world around you. But as the value of personal health, fitness, and peace of mind has become ever more important, so has the awareness that making the world a better place starts with taking care of one’s self.

There’s no better illustration of this than your airline reminding you that, in the event of an emergency, you need to put on your own oxygen mask BEFORE helping others with theirs. You can’t save the world if you haven’t bothered to save yourself.

So we get it now—self-care is important. But let’s extend the line a little further, and take the concept of self-care into a type of activity that doesn’t always come to mind.

Professional development.

Think about it—why do we take courses, classes, and webinars to become better at our jobs? “Because the boss makes us,” you might reply. (Hee hee.)

No, we do it because most of us spend a third of our adult lives in our workplace. And if we don’t have the skills to succeed at what we do, those eight hours become a far less enjoyable experience. Getting better and smarter at our jobs doesn’t just benefit our employers, it helps US feel more productive, more engaged, and ultimately happier.


Taking a class that results in you spending 15 minutes per day on a task that had previously taken you hours is an absolute game-changer. Watching a human behavior webinar that offers you answers to the dilemmas you face dealing with a bullying boss or a toxic colleague can make your work life infinitely more pleasant.

And, yes, getting that graduate degree may lead to a promotion, to a job with better benefits and salary. And there are precious few situations in which that development doesn’t improve your ability to care for yourself.  So as you can see, the line between improving your skills and improving your peace of mind is short and straight!

A personal note from Dr. Cindy:

Helping others toward this end is why I started doing what I do. I want to help others to realize and reach their personal and professional potential.

And that’s a big reason I’ve founded the Orange Leaf Academy, an online professional development resource that, I hope and believe, will improve your jobs and lives by helping you to develop your skills.   

We launched this week with our first course “The Art of Selling-Level 1” to help sales professionals to shorten their sales cycle and grow their business, and you can find out more about it here:


Whether it’s our course or any of the many other quality offerings out there, you owe it to yourself to explore and grow.

After all, isn’t it time for you to start looking out for number one?

That’s how you GROW BIG OR GO HOME!