At the end of this month, Wendy and I will celebrate the second anniversary of our move back to Pennsylvania to be closer to family.
Our senior community consists of 280 homes with many wonderful people. Unlike our previous single home, we are part of what’s called a quad — four households sharing a collective driveway.
This structural difference has made it much easier to say hello to our neighbors, and even knock on one another’s doors when a particular need arises.
Lending a hand seems to come naturally to our quad mates and most folks in our extended community. My walking buddy Alan always has a bag of dog treats to share with our friendly furry friends as we make our morning rounds.
Who recently lent you a helping hand?
Where and how can you reciprocate or pay forward this gesture of kindness?
“People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don’t need help.”
—Glennon Doyle Melton, American author and activist
Image from Unsplash by Razvan Chisu
In my work as a coach, I’ve been most fortunate to work with many wonderful and highly successful people. On the outside, most of them present to the world an image of great achievement, self-sufficiency, and confidence.
Surprisingly, when allowed to dig below the surface many of them show their more vulnerable sides, revealing their need for assistance on various personal and professional levels.
Where and when do you sometimes present a “fake it to you make it” image to the world?
Where could you and others in your world need a helping hand that may not be readily apparent?
Who could you ask or offer this needed assistance?
“Joy for human beings lies in proper human work and proper human work consists in: acts of kindness to other human beings…”
How have you been trying to help others in your various communities these past few months?
How have others accepted your acts of kindness and service?
How have your good intentions and efforts, on certain occasions, not helped or improved the situation?
It seems that despite our own best efforts to put forth what we perceive as our best human work, others in our world do not always see it as such and sometimes don’t seem to benefit.
At these times, your generous intentions and efforts can be replaced by far less pleasant emotions, leaving us clueless.
Consider the idea that you are speaking to a loved one or someone you care about in a new language that they do not understand or appreciate. What might be the benefit of listening for greater understanding and learning more about the language they are speaking?
“You don’t need superpowers to be someone’s hero.”
—Ricky Maye, writer and public speaker
Image from Unsplash by H. Shaw
I recently had a small basal cell carcinoma removed from my back. Once I got the OK from my insurance company (which took weeks), my dermatologist took a good sized chunk out of me, to make sure he had a significant margin of clean tissue. This left a two-inch boo-boo with numerous sutures.
The wound care instructions required periodic dressing changes which I was unable to do on my own due to the location of the wound. Unfortunately, my wife was out of town supporting my dad with his assisted living efforts. Vidal – and a few other folks who go to my health club – came to my rescue and patched me up.
Who are the heroes in your personal and professional communities? How can you more fully acknowledge and appreciate their contributions to your life? Where and with whom can you don your own cape to be a hero to others in your world?
“Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.”
—Ric Ocasek, late vocalist, guitarist and songwriter
Image from Unsplash by Zan
There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman.
From the day we are born, our parents, family members, friends, teachers, counselors, mentors, and coaches have helped us along the way. If you look closely at these moments, you will likely see considerable happiness and smiles on their individual faces.
As we get older and gain more independence, many of us become reluctant, even resistant, to the assistance of others, because we don’t wish to impose or put them out.
How often have you stood proudly in your stubborn, I can do it myself shoes?
Where and with whom could you request assistance on an important matter to demonstrate how much you value them, and providing them the pleasure of being helpful?
Who in your world may be reluctant to ask you for a helping hand?
Research has shown that a critical component to a purposeful, happy life is helping others.
Consider how you currently help others in your personal and professional communities.
What contribution and difference have you made at this point in your life?
Each day, we allocate our time and energies. At some point we run out of gas and need a recharge. Beyond our own efforts to efficiently use these resources, how might you leverage yourself to make a ten-times or 100-times impact?
“All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and someone who believes in them.”
—Magic Johnson, former Los Angeles Laker Basketball Superstar
Weston on his 1st Birthday
How often do you video chat with family and friends that live far away? A few weeks ago, Wendy and I were delighted to see our one-year-old grandson Weston take 10 steps at the encouragement of his mom — our daughter Rachel.
Our children are our future, and I have no doubt that Weston will be an extraordinary young man due to the hope, help, and belief we all have in him.
Who are the big and little kids in your world that need and deserve even more belief and support? In what ways can and will you more fully contribute to their growth and development?
How do you participate in your professional and personal communities? How often do you find yourself sharing your knowledge, life experiences, and wisdom with others? What is your talk-to-listen ratio?
What if a trusted colleague or significant other took a survey of ten people in each of your communities, asking exactly how helpful you were through your various interactions? How would you score?
Using big esoteric words to communicate a simple point just annoys people. Before you speak today, ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say just me trying to be smart, or is it actually helpful?”