Search

HELP IS OVERRATED

Updated: Oct 2, 2018

It's also amazing. But sometimes asking for it is the biggest barrier. So consider this.



On a recent TED Radio Hour, I heard entrepreneur and cool name winner Lux Narayan talk about how he discovered what matters in life: by analyzing 2,000 New York Times obituaries.

"The exercise was a fascinating testament to the kaleidoscope that is life, and even more fascinating was the fact that the overwhelming majority of obituaries featured people famous and non-famous, who did seemingly extraordinary things. They made a positive dent in the fabric of life. They helped." -Lux Narayan

Help was the word that appeared most often across all those obituaries. Evidence that somewhere deep in our cultural roots, we authentically value the gifts of service that people, famous or not, give others out of kindness, compassion, dedication, tenacity. I'm gonna bet that if you're reading this, you're one of the helpers. Someone who cared enough to be stopped by the title, someone who's committed to making a positive impact in some corner of the world.


And if you're anything like me, or all the phenomenally talented, hard-working people I know, this first thing we're willing to give is one of the last ones we'll accept. The narratives we tell ourselves are exactly the ones we're trying to rescue other people from: I shouldn't need it. If I were just _________ (smarter, stronger, more capable) I could just do it myself. I can't ever let someone see that I'm failing at this. Help wouldn't even help. No one will understand.


So I propose using a different narrative framework, building a different context around help. If help connotes some sort of need, weakness or reliance to you, screw it. Crinkle up help and throw it in a good old-fashioned waste paper basket. There are plenty of other empowering contexts for what you actually need: to use the beauty and benefit of human nature - which thrives on connection - to fuel your mojo, your unsung dreams, your potential, and what you're really committed to. I have a friend who says every champion has a coach. And one of the most powerful things we'll ever do is to be brave enough to take on our commitments with the investments and supports they deserve, no matter how uncomfortable or foreign that might be.


It doesn't really matter what your context is. My offering is that you can just choose a framework that feels empowering, inspiring, motivating, intriguing. And see if anything opens up for you when you make that choice. You were built to challenge any barrier that the ego and mind throw up to keep you safe. You are right around the corner from feeling possibility, hope and a shift that can truly transform any part of your life. You are the one who'll reach out to the sky and be met with grace and opportunity.










72 views