Asking for help

I gave some really good consulting advice to a friend a couple of days ago on why it’s important to ask for help. He had had some challenges with an issue he was facing that a few of us were happy to help him with. And we did.

“So hard to ask for help.” – he said.

“Yeah. It’s funny how we often forget that we actually strengthen relationships when we allow people to help.”  – I said playing Master Yoda for a moment.

A day later, I found myself completely overwhelmed. I felt like I had been sitting with a block on my head until a wiser friend pointed out I had been really jumpy for the past 3 days. The root cause of the problem? I wasn’t asking for help!

And so I did – I buzzed friends late in the night last night and did some old school problem finding and problem solving.  I feel much better today. I learnt 3 things –

1. It IS very hard to ask for help. I recognize some people actually find it very easy to ask for help – too easy some might say – but for those who find it hard, it is indeed very hard. And close framily DO love to be of help wherever possible. It’s a real win-win if done right.

2. It is one thing giving great consulting advice. It’s quite something else applying it to yourself. The rules always seem different.. they aren’t. Problems are less obvious when we are too close to them.

3. Life has this way of coming around a full circle. It’s a great opportunity to laugh when that happens! I laughed out loud when I realized this last night and I have a big grin on my face as I type this post out. Very few things are as amusing as our failures to walk our talk.. :-)

Oh, and one more thing, it really helps to have people close to you who point out to you when you are behaving stressed. That was the trigger for the self reflection and it was a very useful one.

Why Life is Perfect

It’s very easy to be caught up in the hard grind that is the “day-to-day.” It’s also easy to stop noticing the absurdity of an answer like “Okaaayyyy” to the “How is life?” question simply because that seems to be the default answer.

Just okay? We live in a world where we have more conveniences and sources of joy than we can ever imagine. We can live many thousand miles apart from near and dear one and still reach them with the click of a button. Poverty is lower than it has ever been and is decreasing quickly.

Sure, you have a misfortune or two but difficulties make the journey interesting. And you can’t be the hero of your own story without overcoming tough challenges anyway. Even the challenges we face are perfectly engineered – never insurmountable and always require us to stretch just a little bit extra and open our minds so we can become equal to the challenge. Isn’t that amazing?

Every bit of this life is perfect. Let’s not let all the noise about the world’s imperfections change our mind about that. That’s just a sign that the news companies are doing a “perfect” sales job…

When someone asks you “how is life” today, try saying “Perfect!” At any rate, it’ll make you smile and feel better and that wouldn’t be so bad now, would it?