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Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~ 

Part One ~ I was at my daughter’s Leadership Breakfast this past week. Being an 8th grader and waiting for the next big step towards high school can be and is a big thing. Her school has these recognition type events to help them get encouragement and praise for the way they are helping others and leading. The educators will nominate the kids and then they decide on a group of kids to come and have breakfast along with their parents and share in a pretty cool experience.

There is usually an invited guest from the community to help in the process as well. This time a  gentlemen came and talked about “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” – ring a bell? The author Stephen Covey has been just about everywhere teaching this concept.

In my career, I also took his self-improvement, Franklin Covey Time Management course. I think many of us have looked or thought about self-improvement courses or books. Honestly, my go-to book is a spiritual one – the Bible. I can find many answers in that great book. 🙂

But as I listened to this gentlemen, I thought, how can we compare this to our before and after journey experience?

First thing in the habits is being Proactive. The first three steps are meant to help us move from the dependent to independent stage. So, think about that.

You have to be in charge of yourself, your responsibility, and your actions. What kind of character do you have or want to portray? In the workplace today it really is a great habit to have, but I question us all with … why shouldn’t it be in everything we do?

When we first got told about the journey we were going to be on for a long time, if not, the rest of our lives, it was a true test of our character. Was I proactive at first? No way, more reactive. “There’s nothing I can do,” I told myself. “This is just the way it’s going to be,” well … to a point. It’s a problem, yes, but we can’t make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because if you remain reactive you become victimized and out of control. You are no longer in charge, are you?

So, we start to ask good questions of our doctors, friends and family. You start to realize there are things you can do about the situation. Where there is a will there is a way!

Get rid of the negative energy and turn that to positive energy. How are you going to take charge again? Ask yourself, “What improvements, can I make that will to improve my quality of life and of those around me?”

Begin with an end in mind. Ok, what is your next goal on your journey? In a career it can be a next promotion, create a vision of how you can achieve that.

So, what’s the first obstacle do you need to envision on your health journey? Mine was walking more than 10 feet without a 15-liter rebreather mask and not passing out on the way! Great! However, I learned from my therapists, you have to break it down even further. Baby steps, proper breathing, slower movements, it’s okay to be tired, don’t be too hard on yourself at first.

You have to find that foundation. In work, your peers, right? Positive but honest feedback.

On my journey, my doctor is always honest with me. Feedback, answering the hard questions. Helping set the right vision in place so I can achieve some of these things I want. Improve my quality of life to the best of my ability and what I can control. Going back to being in charge of my life. Play the cards dealt to you the best way you know how!

Then, Prioritize, set those goals to achieve and celebrate your success when you achieve them and figure out why it is taking longer for some of the others to achieve.

In order to maintain the discipline and the focus to stay on track toward our goals, we need to have the willpower to do something when we don’t want to do it. We need to act according to our values rather than our desires or impulses at any given moment.  

In my working days with my team, I learned to delegate so we could achieve together.

Well, on my journey, I delegate, ask for help. I can’t do it alone. Whining is not delegating, BTW, been there done that. It does not work, trust me, LOL!

So, we will continue next time on teamwork and continuous growth.

Find yourself, on this journey you are on. Take charge, be ready to change things to improve your lifestyle! You are important, don’t ever forget that!

Till next time,





Love you all,

– Coach Bob

Bob Rawlins, 61, of Medina, Ohio, is husband to Terese and father to their 13-year-old triplets, a soccer coach, a hospital volunteer, and marketing guru. He uses a FreeStyle Comfort portable oxygen concentrator.  

When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.

If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE by visiting or calling 1-877-704-0878 to talk to an oxygen advisor.