What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
I sometimes wonder if we are not our own worst enemy. The one thing most of us share these days is dealing with some pretty tough times. Job loss, shrinking income, rising tuition costs, reduced retirement income, and so much more have put many of us into a quandary as how we can best deal with the future and yet we are reluctant to ask for help.
Unfortunately too many of us have been culturally conditioned to believe that we should deal with our own problems without ever seeking help. Why is it that some of us prefer living with pain to admitting we could use assistance from others, I don’t mean financial assistance, I mean coping and planning assistance. If you are like I am you have learned a long time ago that a burden shared results in a lightened load, I know that I find that walking a path with a friend is a lot easier than walking it alone. The best part is when you find that people love to help if we let them. I know I spend many hours with good people as we brain storm how they might find ways to cope with their reality and even find a path to a better future and I almost always leave appreciating that they let me be a part of their life.
If you think asking for help is not easy you might find what Marci Alboher wrote on her Working the New Economy blog on how to do it. She suggests in part:
For a long time, I had difficulty asking for help. I felt more comfortable on the giving side of things and feared that if I regularly asked others for help I’d take advantage of their kindness. Then I realized that most successful people know how and when to ask for help. And that most people are inclined to offer help when asked (research backs this up.) So I started asking, and good things happened as a result of it.
Based on these experiences, I’ve developed some guidelines for how I ask for help:
Identify the problem. This might sound simple, but it’s not. Say, for example, you’re not moving forward in your career. Are emotional issues distracting you? Are you unsure if you’re in the right field? Are you spending too much time managing a family situation that has become tense? The answers to these questions should help you figure out whether it makes sense to talk to a career coach, a therapist, or perhaps a family member or a close friend.
Learn as much as you can on your own. Before you start contacting friends or professionals, do some research on your own. That way, when I sit down with an expert -- whether or not I’m paying for the advice -- I can be sure that I have a good sense of what the issues are.
Be direct. No one appreciates a passive-aggressive plea for help. If you know what you want, ask outright.
Make it easy. When my friend Sarah (yes, the same Sarah) moved several years ago, she came up with a brilliant plan to get several of her friends to help her. She divided her moving days into hourly slots and set up specific tasks (e.g. pack up all kitchen cabinets) that needed to get done. Then, any time a friend said, “What can I do to help?” she replied, “Come by for a two hour shift.” I signed up. And when I arrived, the table was set up with packing materials and I was told which shelves to focus on. By the time I finished my part, I felt great for helping and unburdened by the request since she had made the job so easy.
Be clear. If Sarah’s situation was a model for how to ask for help, a recent request I received (also dealing with a housing issue), was a model for how not to do it. A few weeks ago, I got a mass email from an acquaintance asking if anyone knew of any apartments for rent in New York. That was the entirety of the message. The writer said nothing about dates of availability, the location or how much she could afford.
Spread it out. If you anticipate you’ll be needing a lot of help, try to find a team of people to rely on rather than repeatedly going to the same person. You’ll get two benefits: first, you’ll hear more than one approach to your problem; and second, you won’t become a burden to someone you appreciate.
When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
He said that you can tell it's her if:
When asked, "Is something bothering you?" she replies "no" then gets mad when she is believed.
She becomes attracted to someone because he is outgoing and loves parties, starts dating him, and immediately expects him to stop this behavior.
She always takes an hour longer than promised to prepare for the evening.
She always hides very important events in very unimportant terms so she can have something to be upset about when her boyfriend declines because he has pressing business, i.e. She says "It's no big deal, but I was wondering if you would like to visit my parents with me if you are not busy this weekend." when she means "It means a great deal to me for you to see my family with me this weekend whether or not it is possible!"
Completion of any task within the allocated time and budget does not bring credit upon the performance -- it merely proves that the task was easier than expected.
A traveler stopped to observe the curious behavior of a farmer who was plowing his field. The single mule hitched to the plow was wearing blinders, and the farmer was yelling, 'Giddyap, Pete! Giddyap, Herb! Giddyap, Ol' Bill! Giddyap, Jeb!'
After watching the farmer carry on like this for a while, the traveler asked, 'Say, mister, how many names does that mule have?'
'Just one, his name is Pete.'
'Then why do you call out Herb and Bill and Pete, and Jeb?'
'It's like this,' explained the farmer. 'If Ol' Pete knew he was doing all this work alone, I couldn't make him do it. But if he thinks he's got three other mules workin' alongside of him, he does the whole job all by himself.'
'What a marvelous idea!' exclaimed the traveler. And when he got back to his corporate office in New York, he invented the committee.
A cynic is a person searching for an honest man, with a stolen lantern.
'I have good news and bad news,' a defense attorney told his client. 'First the bad news: The blood test came back, and your DNA is an exact match with the sample found on the victim's dress.'
'Oh, no - I'm ruined!' cried the client. 'What's the good news?'
'Your cholesterol is down to 140!'
A perfectionist is one who takes great pains, and gives them to everyone else.
Weiss is standing over a gravestone and he's crying and saying, 'If only you had lived, if only you had lived.'
A gravedigger comes up to him and says, 'You're wife's in there?'
He says, 'No, my wife's first husband.'
“Every once in awhile when I’m sunk into what I imagine must be the pits of misery, it occurs to me that this ‘pit’ gets visited pretty often by everybody, and I usually have to smile...at our egoism, at our irrepressible ability to assume we suffer more that others.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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