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Being Super Means Helping Yourself First

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at September 13, 2021

Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer at SetSchedule. Resident tech guru.

Growing up, I absolutely loved Superman. I fell in love with the idea of being just like him: the strongest, the fastest, the best. And all while helping others? It seemed like a dream come true. But I knew it was Superman’s heart that made him a true hero. The fact that he always did what was right and helped others is what truly made him super — more than x-ray vision, flying and super strength. After all, Superman’s enemies had powers, too. 

The moment I realized this, I decided that I would follow in my hero’s footsteps. Nothing else in the world was as exciting to me as heroes — not TV, not video games, not toys or candy. I had found my true calling. And best of all, I figured it out while I was still young.

So, my quest to become super began and my sense of responsibility to others started to grow. I made a commitment to myself that I would always help anyone who asked. After all, isn’t that what really made Superman’s heart super?

I began to develop a reputation for myself as I maintained my commitment to help others. In my business dealings and in my relationships, I became “Udi Fix-It.” At the time, I was perfectly fine with that. This was around the time I had moved back to the United States, having been born in New York and then growing up in Israel. I had thrown myself into founding many different ventures. As most people know, entrepreneurs and crazy people like me who want to change the world don’t always have the best boundaries between their personal lives and their careers. So, I continued to say “yes” to everything, and the more people who came to me for help, the prouder I felt. 

For a while, I was happy working at that tireless pace. What more could I ask for? I was living up to my ideals, I was making others happy and I was enjoying myself, too. I am naturally curious, so I couldn’t get enough of these tasks. But as I continued doing this, the more unorganized my schedule became. I was rarely home, and I eventually realized that I had not been making time for the people I loved. This was where I had to draw the line.

At that point, I had to take a step back. If I continued to prioritize other people’s problems over my relationships, my closest friends and family members would drift away, and I would miss sharing my life with them. I thought again about superheroes and how every single one of my favorite heroes had to undergo a personal growth journey, balancing their personal lives with their hero responsibilities before they were able to do the most good for others. I realized that I needed to stop trading away my time so freely. 

So, I came up with a very basic process that I highly recommend to others when they have stretched themselves too thin. First, I listed out the tasks I had agreed to help with, and I made a promise to myself to not add anything new to this list until I could get my situation under control. This was not easy — I had to unlearn my reflex to immediately say “yes.”

Then, I broke down problems into smaller, more manageable steps in discussions with my team members, so even if I wasn’t committing myself fully to a task, I could still help by getting the problem organized or offering tips. I began to cap off my conversations by saying, “Try that and let me know how it goes for you.” I did the same thing with the tasks on my list — I circled back with the people I had promised to help and let them know the reality of the situation, but still worked with them to propose next steps. 

To avoid spreading yourself too thin in the first place, hold yourself to the highest standard possible. Arrange tasks and routines in order of priority — being flexible and agile can be a strength, but you need to have a set routine that incorporates all of the important aspects in your life (friends, family, fitness, learning). You need a fierce commitment to that routine and should hone your skills on your designated responsibilities before you begin to branch out and assist others.

Here’s the most important lesson my interest in superheroes taught me: While great power does carry great responsibility, having a great responsibility to yourself first gives you the power to truly be super in your life and in your career.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


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