Friday, 28 October 2011

Helping Hands

I've talked a bit in this space before about accepting help; how difficult it is for some to do so. That used to be me.  To an extent, it still is - but not in as many instances.

One of the instances in which I find I will readily accept help, is in the area of career development.  I have been blessed to cross paths on this journey with several people who've had my interest at heart.  The role that they have played in my life cannot be overstated.  Even as I have had to do my part - dream; study; apply myself; work hard; aim high - theirs has not gone unnoticed.  For the most part, it's the inspiration.  I've often said that sometimes, you just need to be inspired.  And it's true.  Sometimes you just need to feel that wind beneath your wings.  Sometimes you just need to hear that voice beside you saying, "Don't worry.  You can do it.  I believe in you."

And, I have had that.  I've had that from my parents and siblings.  I've had that from teachers at all levels.  I've had that from dear friends and new friends and, occasionally, associates and colleagues.  And, while I do not take for granted that which I've received from family and friends, it is the help from senior persons in my field for which I am very thankful at this point.  I imagine I could look at it this way.  Years ago, I got the foundation of inspiration and encouragement down pat.  Now, as I venture into new areas, God is blessing me with a new kind of help; help for this time, if you will.  I don't have blinkers on, shutting everything else out; crushing people beneath me and all that jazz.  But, I do aspire to positions in which I feel I would make a positive difference; know exactly what I'm doing and why; like what I do; be good at it and impact the way in which the service or program is carried out, to make people's lives better.

It helps to be prepared for when new opportunities arise. It doesn't make sense to simply sit waiting - as if with a sense of entitlement - twiddling the thumbs and nothing else. Additionally, sometimes, having done the work, I've had to put myself out there, expressing an interest, even if there is a probability of not getting it.  However, by now we've heard the term in biz-speak: "top of mind".  Yes, I've seen that "top of mind" thing work!  Recently, I wanted to get into a particular program and was told that it was closed for the rest of the fiscal year.  Well, wouldn't you know it?  I got a call sometime after when a vacancy arose.  As the caller put it, when he was asked whether anyone would be interested at this point, I was the first person to come to mind! Long and short, I got in.

That's the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say "help".  It mightn't be something tangible, but it is a move that prepares you for, or propels you into, more favourable positions for greater development.  It's sad but true, that in the world of business, many new opportunities are realized through "who knows you".  The main question is whether you are prepared for an opportunity, or simply "fake it 'til you make it"?  Those who receive the kind of help that propels them into a position for which they are clearly unsuited, more often than not make the lives of those around them sheer terror!  But, that's another story.  My point here is that for those of us who are in fact prepared; who are ready, willing and able to accept and assume the role at hand, should not be abashed about 1) making our interest known 2) indicating that interest to the right people (some co-workers will sabotage your efforts if they get wind of them) and 3) graciously accept the help you receive.  It may be in a simple word of encouragement/inspiration or a tip or a lead or a recommendation or a reference or a definite connection!  Then, 4) show up and apply yourself to that for which you have been preparing all this time!  And, for heaven's sake 5) please turn around and say thank you!

There's a saying, "Favour ain't fair," referring, I believe, to God's favour upon His children in the many aspects of their lives.  There are some inexplicable ways in which He works out things in the interest of His children, sometimes defying reason, and making them come out on top.  And, there's no point in arguing about it.  It just is.  I believe in God's favour.  I have experienced it oh so many times.  But, His word admonishes us to keep from being slothful; if a man doesn't work, he shouldn't eat; honour Him with the first fruits of our increase - and so on.

So, yes, these days, I find I'm graciously accepting help in this regard.  I try to keep myself in "ready" mode.  Y'know?  "Just in cases." And,  I'm humbly acknowledging and accepting God's favour - His helping hand.  Again, no point in arguing with it.  It just is.



  1. I really enjoy this blog! You're absolutely right. Far too often, we don't ask, so we don't get. It is really important to create our own destinies. I'm a firm believer in this. I've achieved much by doing just that and by applying this philosophy.

    Many times I have achieved great things and met great people and secured great jobs by asking, working at it and making myself available to name just a few. For example, in 2005 when I was in the Middle East training Iraqi policeman, several dignitaries came to visit our camp. A woman was standing among the dignitaries and she appeared very exhausted. It turns out that she was the deputy prime minister of Britain. I walked over to her and asked her if she wished to sit down with me and join me for a tea. Well, she did! And we shared about a half an hour of pleasant chat and tea together. That never would've happened if I would not have asked! I can go on and on!

    Thanks for sharing this. As Wayne Gretzky says, "you always miss 100% of the shots you don't take"! I really believe in that philosophy.

  2. Oh, Paul! Thank you for this! Amazing that what usually paralyzes us is fear - in its myriad forms. And we let it. We would accomplish so much more if we didn't. Again, thanks for sharing this gem of inspiration!