Posted 01 April 2016 by Chris Farmer
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Don't be afraid to ask for help
Don't be afraid to ask others for help; since you cannot win on your own. Nobody can.
When you were at school, you may have been told by the teacher: "No talking. Do your own work. Don't copy anyone else's work. That is cheating. You have to work it out for yourself." If you were caught asking a friend, "How do you do question 3?" you were told to stop talking and get on with it on your own.
We learned at school that "asking for help" was a form of cheating. And that only individual effort was acceptable.
That was all well and good since school teachers need to be able to assess the progress of each individual child, and so it was important that each child hands-in their own work, untouched by other minds.
But the fact is that in practically every other situation outside of the school classroom, you don't need to do it on your own, you cannot do it on your own, you need to gain the help of others, and cooperative team work, where each person is helping every other person, is the order of the day.
It is therefore permissible: no, necessary; no, mandatory, that you do ask other people to help you in situations where you find yourself struggling to get the job done.
The main thing is that the job is a success: The job is done to the right standard, within the time limit, and within budget.
And in order to achieve this target, there is nobody who is smart enough, or educated enough, or has sufficient energy, enthusiasm or will power, to do it all on his, her own.
- Everyone needs to be ready to ask for help, when it is necessary to do so.
- Everyone needs to be ready to lend a hand, when it is necessary to do so.
It is important to recognise that there is no bad connotation associated with asking others for help.
Asking for help is not a sign of failure. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Asking for help is not a sign of ineptitude.
On the contrary, the ability to ask for help and to avail oneself of the combined brainpower of the team is a sign of maturity, intelligence and power.
It is true that in some way, everyone you meet is your superior, and in that respect, you can learn from them.
Similarly, in some way you are superior to everyone you meet, and in that respect, you can help them.
- So be both a good teacher and a good student.
- Help others, and allow yourself to be helped by others.
- Be a good giver and a good taker.
- Ask and answer a lot of questions.
In that way, our combined knowledge is shared, multiplied and put to work.
Remember: There is no such thing as a successful hermit.
Alone on his island, Robinson Crusoe did not amount to much, until Man Friday turned up to help.
The most successful people are those who surround themselves with other minds.
Even the greatest geniuses in the world get help from others. That is one of the things that make them great geniuses.
Only a fool would think himself clever enough to do it on his own.
The wise are wise enough to know that "Great achievement" is "Group achievement".
Never refuse to help a colleague.
This is how we will win.
By a Team effort.
Isaac Newton said, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants".
So please, never be afraid to ask for help.