Helping someone else through difficulty is where human civilization starts. We know that behind every successful person there is often a small army of enablers – people who steer, guide, assist and execute, and we recognize that it feels great to contribute to others. Yet, when it comes to asking for support, guidance, advice, or help from others, we often feel it will make us seem weak or vulnerable.
Up till now, you may well have done everything on your own. And you may have some very negative feelings about being helped. If this is your experience you will have discovered that other people tend not to offer support to people like you. If you act like you don’t need or want any help, you won’t get any. Not only will you be denying yourself all the benefits of having others contribute to your life, but you will be depriving others of joy.
How do you feel about the idea of others contributing guidance or assistance to you?
How do you hear it if someone says “There’s someone I know who could be very helpful to you?” How about if they said, “I feel you could really use some support in a couple of areas?”
Do you sense a resistance within you? Do you feel it in your body?
Is part of you screaming out: “I’ve got this far without any help from anyone.” “I’ve made things work out on my own. Why change it.”
Very often, the founders who I coach did not enjoy their experience at school. They hated being “taught” “talked down to” “patronized.” Does that sound like you?
A lot of my clients tell me they launched their own business because they had been let down by other people. They could not count on others for help or support – So, they feel more comfortable, more in control if they do everything on their own. Can you relate?
In my experience of working with highly creative individuals, very often those from diverse or working-class backgrounds are especially resistant to enrolling others in supporting them. This can be because they’ve been let down in the past, or because they see asking for help as a sign of dependency or weakness.
Offering help to others feels great
The paradox is that human beings feel most alive when we are contributing to others.
There is a Chinese proverb “If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
How do you feel when someone asks you to help them out with something you’re uniquely placed to provide? It feels great, doesn’t it, to offer support, advice or guidance when someone needs it?
The anthropologist Margaret Mead was once asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about clay pots, tools for hunting, or religious artifacts.
But no. Mead said that the first evidence of civilization was a 15,000 years old fractured femur bone found in an archaeological site.
A broken femur that has healed is evidence that another person has taken time to stay with the fallen, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety, and has tended them through recovery. A healed femur indicates that someone has helped a fellow human, rather than abandoning them to save their own life.
“Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts,” Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
Asking for support is a sign of strength
We don’t see asking for help as a sign of weakness in others. If anything, we acknowledge it takes self-knowledge to recognize one needs help, and confidence to ask for it. Yet, when faced with reaching out to ask for help or guidance, we worry it will make us appear weak.
You are not a victim seeking to be rescued. You are a creator focused on outcomes. As such you do not need to be rescued. But, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit enormously from other people contributing to your life for business.
Successful people are great at asking for help
When I think of the most confident, successful people I know, they are great at enrolling others for support, guidance, and advice. They are the first to acknowledge that they could never have gotten where they are without their mentors, advisors, or coaches. Public figures from Oprah Winfrey to Bill Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio to Bill Gates are all very vocal about their advisors and coaches.
Enrolling other people creates bonds
As the character of Chuck Rhoades, played by Paul Giamatti, says on HBO’s Billions: “The best way to bond with someone isn’t doing a favor, it’s asking for one. That’s the Franklin Effect. You make the other person feel valued like you’ve given them power so you won’t hurt them.”
Asking someone to support, guide, advise, help, or coach you could bring unexpected results. You may be introduced to different perspectives or new practices. Simply making the request could be transformational for you and the relationship with your would-be supporter. And one thing is almost certain, whether or not they say ‘yes’ to your request, they will feel a certain pride and joy simply to have been asked.
Food Is Medicine And What We Eat Is Important
The Points of Light Civic Circle Offers Real Ways You Can Change the World
Sixty-six percent of Americans don’t believe they can make a big impact in the world.
That figure is according to Points of Light’s research on civic engagement. But what if I told you there are actually many ways to drive change?
Today’s political climate can feel divided or even stagnant, but the truth is, you really can make things better, starting with your own community, one act of kindness at a time. And those aren’t just words. I’m here to share real, practical ways for you to make a difference.
The Points of Light Civic Circle helps people connect to opportunities and understand that doing good comes in many forms. It is a framework that represents your power to lead, lend support and take action for causes you care about and live your best civic life.
The Civic Circle provides actionable examples of all the ways you can change your community to reflect the world you want to see around you. In fact, you’re probably doing some of these things already. Are you helping a neighbor by picking up groceries or chaperoning on your child’s class field trip? You’re volunteering. Did you vote in the last election or help others get to the polls so they could vote? Those acts of civic duty illustrate the “vote” element. When you buy a product, do you choose to support companies that reflect your values or advance a social cause? That’s called “purchase power.” There are nine elements of the Civic Circle, and countless ways to bring each one to life.
This blog is the first in a five-part series that will help you find real and manageable ways to activate the Civic Circle through apps, documentaries, podcasts and books.
We also offer other resources to help you connect with all the ways you can become empowered to be the change you want to see in the world. Check out our videos that provide an in-depth look at each element of the Civic Circle. And don’t miss Civic Life Today, our digital magazine series. Each issue takes a deep dive and provides materials, ideas and inspiration so that you can become civically engaged. Get started today, and launch your own civic engagement journey with these tools.
Are you an Amateur or a Pro? 30 Differences to Help You Decide…
My client, Sebastian, thinks he’s behind on “life”.
He thinks he missed the memo the rest of us received on how to live a happy life.
I know better.
Sebastian hasn’t fallen behind and there is no such memo.
We’re all just trying to figure it out.
Unless we’re not. And there are a lot of people who simply are not trying to figure it out.
My friend and Professional Coach, Elaine Taylor-Klaus, calls them Status quo-ers — as opposed to Growers.
Anyone who makes a serious commitment to working with a Professional Coach is by definition a “Grower” and Sebastian is no exception.
Growers want to know, feel and live more. They push every boundary and sometimes fall off cliffs. They say “yes” to way too many things and often feel overwhelmed and over committed. They have a congenital distaste of the status quo and will sabotage any situation if it feels like “settling” to them. They’re insatiable and often don’t know what exactly will assuage their hunger.
Growers often appear to the world as troubled, frustrated and critical.
Inside they feel unfulfilled and misunderstood.
The truth is that they can’t help but be driven by Oscar Wilde’s belief that,
Growers will break every piece in the china shop when they find themselves just existing and not living as they see fit. And they suffer for it.
That is… until they turn pro and transform their life!
Steven Pressfield famously states in his book, Turning Pro,
Sebastian thinks he’s falling behind because he’s still living life as an amateur at 34.
To put the above into context, I didn’t turn pro till well into my 40’s!
Best move I ever made!
So what’s the difference between living life as an amateur vs. a pro?
Although there is no one size fits all manifesto on “how to turn pro”, here are thirty distinctions I’ve learned which apply to ANY Grower who is truly committed to living a life of purpose, fulfillment and ease.
- Amateurs look for hacks and shortcuts — Pros do the work.
- Amateurs speed up — Pros slow down.
- Amateurs are busy — Pros are focused.
- Amateurs sell first — Pros serve first.
- Amateurs think it’s about them — Pros know it’s never personal.
- Amateurs think life is short — Pros know life is actually really freakin’ long.
- Amateurs are reactive — Pros are responsive.
- Amateurs live with constant misunderstandings — Pros take the time to get clear.
- Amateurs don’t know what success looks like (to them) — Pros know their definition of success and aren’t afraid to change it.
- Amateurs don’t know their core life values — Pros do.
- Amateurs want to feel happy — Pros want to feel alive!
- Amateurs play to “not lose” — Pros play to win.
- Amateurs are harsh — Pros are fierce.
- Amateurs secretly enjoy being in the “Victim Mindset” — Pros are a “Hell No” to that!
- Amateurs wonder what people say about them when they leave the room — Pros know.
- Amateurs have false and limiting beliefs around money — Pros don’t.
- Amateurs are constantly searching for life balance — Pros are living an integrated life.
- Amateurs think everything matters — Pros know what few things actually do matter (for them).
- Amateurs set boundaries defensively — Pros simply honor their “operating system”.
- Amateurs think help is a four letter word — Pros actively seek opportunities to help and be helped.
- Amateurs don’t have a relationship with their “Future Self” — Pros are best friends with their “Future Self”.
- Amateurs confuse knowing with doing — Pros receive knowledge and apply it (EVERY moment of EVERY day).
- Amateurs love information — Pros love insights.
- Amateurs have intentions — Pros have commitments.
- Amateurs have expectations — Pros have agreements.
- Amateurs compare — Pros create.
- Amateurs live from probability — Pros live from possibility.
- Amateurs are focused only on the “Goal Line” — Pros are focused on both the “Goal Line” and the “Soul Line”.
- Amateurs set goals with contingencies — Pros know contingencies are just excuses and NOW is the time!
- Amateurs create from the past — Pros create from the future.
Now that you are aware of the 30 differences between an amateur and a pro, where do you see yourself?
And I’d love to know why. Get in touch with your answer.
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