How to ask for help

Bill’s December Tip: Catching Fire

79News flash: When in danger, don’t shout “Help!” shout, “Fire!”

I recently read people are more likely to come to your aid if flames are possible: Fires tend to spread, effecting surrounding property -and must be extinguished. However, helping another is fraught with the possibility of being put in harm’s way -so is to be avoided.

At a logical first-glance, excuses like: “I don’t want to get involved” or “it’s better him than me” may seem self-preserving, yet under closer inspection, these and other justifications ultimately prove ineffective -even deadly.

Self Involved

There is the classic parable of a man who is non-responsive when intolerance infects his town: The powers-that-be abolish the minorities, then eliminate the disabled, and then eradicate the elderly. During each patrol, the man reasons away these despicable actions as “none of his business.” Finally, the day arrives when the soldiers come for him -and as he desperately calls out for help there is no one left to help him.

Google the word “atrocity” and the web search will inevitably lead you to reports of apathetic or fearful bystanders who turned a blind eye, and so became accessories to-or eventual victims of-crimes against humanity.

The Whole is Larger Than the Sum of its Parts

Although blockbusters like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire leave audiences cheering as the protagonists cheat their lethal circumstances, in reality, no one succeeds alone: We all need each other.

Teamwork tends to trump individuality in getting us toward any goal. A year ago, evangelist Rick Warren asked his congregation of 22,000 for help in staying accountable to his weight loss regimen. In immediate response, half of Warren’s congregation (11,000) pledged to lose weight right along with him. The eventual sum total was not just Warren’s 90-pound weight loss, but the congregation’s collective weight loss of 250,000 pounds: One man’s plea for healthy assistance gained the collective health of thousands….

A Democracy of Souls

Using the above idea, imagine the world we would enjoy if we each contributed one-dollar to a worthy cause or took the responsibility – en masse – to live in the higher-sense of our capabilities.

In the spirit of the season, let’s actively consider one-another: Let’s offer our assistance when others call for our support and openly ask for help when we need it.

-When a dying ember is stoked by more wood, it is sure to burn all the brighter.

Fernanda’s December Tip: Resolution Reboot

120For many, the end of the year brings about thoughts of starting fresh and doing a better job with our futures. We curl up with pen and paper, drafting a list of resolutions. This practice can be a positive and self-reflective exercise about what has worked, what has not, and what we want in the year to come

Making a List

However, I tend to be a bit pessimistic about the success of resolutions in bringing about behavioral change. Eating healthy, getting a better job or achieving other desired outcomes are surely recurring wishes for many of us. Lists are simply too easy to craft without serious reflection about why we haven’t succeeded with our previous intentions.

The truth of the matter is, if we don’t question what we are doing wrong and why we are doing it, then we can never really change (hence my pessimism about resolutions). However, if we launch an investigation as to why we have not been successful at X, Y and Z – things just may change in your favor.

Checking it Twice

I propose you create a Resolution Reboot list: A record of “repeat-offender” items taken from one year, then applied to another. Ask yourself what benefits you receive by perpetuating these bad habits. There is a reason for everything we do -regardless of how unhealthy it is for us. Our behaviors serve a purpose, even if the action is designed to reaffirm a negatively held belief, so our failures are justified.

Replacing Naughty with Nice

We can’t help but fall into old dysfunctional patterns if we are unaware, so find your deep negative beliefs (possibly held for years) through journaling and then replace them with more truthful and honest perceptions: “I will never amount to anything” might become “I am worthy of success, so will allow this in my life.”

This New Year, build a true plan of steps that are achievable and measurable. -Then watch your to do items fly off the page….

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