By Michael J. Ribas, BA, CHPC

Be First


What comes to mind when you read those words? Those two words can have nearly endless meanings and connotations. I first heard them in a podcast featuring volleyball player Gabby Reece. She uses these words to remind herself to be who she wants to be in life.


Here are a few quick examples of how she applies them to day-to-day life:


  • Be the first to smile.
  • Be the first to say hello.
  • Be the first to apologize.
  • Be the first to be courteous.


Doing these can have a truly powerful impact on your life and the lives of those you encounter because it disarms others and lets them know that you see them, that they are valuable in a busy world that often overlooks them.


If we apply these two words to other concepts and areas of life, we begin to realize how much they can impact how we approach and prepare for our day and for our lives.


There are times when it is advantageous to be first up in the morning. There are times when it is practical to be first to work and first to an event or first to a meal. Sometimes if you volunteer to be first, you will be rewarded in ways big and small. In times of challenge or uncertainty, being first might provide the example to others that the obstacle they are facing is surmountable. It could be that you are witnessing someone being unfairly treated or perhaps bullied and you can be the first to sound the alarm for decency and reason.


There are so many ways to be first in life. I’ve often heard people say they were the first from their family to go to college. Other times there are first-generation Americans. In competitive endeavors, being first is what drives us to prepare and train to be our best.


How will you be first today?