The earth drill jerked and pulled to the side. I almost lost my grip on it. Luckily I managed to hold on and we continued drilling. When measuring the hole, we realized we were barely half way down. This had taken forever and we had 13 more holes to go. This wasn’t doable. The ground was too hard. We started to realize that we couldn’t do this alone. We needed help.
We’ve all been there, in need of help. Can’t make it on our own. We don’t have the skills, equipment or knowledge needed. We fall short. Natural, though, since it’s impossible to be skilled at everything, own every machine ever needed to fix anything or to know it all. OK, some people think they know it all, but they are probably the ones who know the least.
So what to do when in need of help? Asking for help can be a scary thing. However, if you learn to master the art of asking, it becomes less intimidating. What do I mean by that? Well, here are some simple guidelines that you can use that will make asking for help a whole lot easier.
Let yourself be vulnerable and ask for help
The first step is to actually have the courage to ask for help, even though it can be scary. If you simply ask for help instead of banging your head against the wall until it bleeds, results can be achieved much faster. Something that’s beneficial for everyone.
Who could help us complete these 14 holes that we needed to build our beautiful veranda? A friend of a friend had the machine needed. Our friend made the introduction and we called the guy.
Ask without expectations
Don’t expect anything when you ask for help. Be willing to take what you can get and use it the best way you can. Perhaps you will not solve the problem completely, but the help given could bring you closer to the solution.
Sure thing, the guy would try to help us out. He couldn’t make any promises though, the ground might be too hard for his machine as well. However, after spending more than hour drilling half a hole, we were willing to take whatever we could get. It was worth a try.
Accept no for an answer
If the person you ask is not willing to help out, accept it and move on. Don’t hold a grudge. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Ask someone else, surely there is more than one that can provide the help needed.
When you ask for help, don’t impose unnecessary restrictions that make it more difficult to receive the help needed. It doesn’t matter if the drilling machine is red or blue. It doesn’t matter if there is a time difference which means that you have to get up in the middle of the night to take that Skype call. If you want help you have to be accommodating. You are the one in need of help, keep that in mind. If you make helping you out difficult, no one will be willing to do it.
The guy agreed to help us out after the weekend. He told us to call him back on Monday morning. We did, and he suggested that same evening to have a go at the holes.
Keep an open mind
When you ask for help remember to keep an open mind as to how your specific problem can be solved. Perhaps you will be suggested a completely different solution than the one you anticipated. Don’t dismiss it at once, ponder it over, perhaps it’s not such a bad idea?! Don’t let your ego stand in the way of a better solution.
The first 3 holes worked just fine. At the fourth one, even this machine hit hard ground. What was down there? Also, the fifth one was also impossible to drill deep. We didn’t dare try anymore since that might cause the drill to break. The remaining drilling went by smoothly.
Express gratitude if help is given
If help is given to you make sure to express gratitude afterward. Everyone likes the feeling of being needed and having helped someone out. Make sure you articulate the gratitude you feel, don’t assume that it’s implied. Say it both to the person helping you out and to others around you. This way you will create a helping atmosphere that will benefit everyone.
Within the hour all 14 holes were drilled, even though 2 of them were only half way, but that would have to work. We thanked the guy from the bottom of our hearts and chatted about this and that for a while. Really nice guy who doesn’t live far from us. I bet we will run into each other again.
Pay it forward
As well as expressing your gratitude in words, try to do it also with actions. Perhaps it’s not possible to return the favor to the one providing the help, instead pay it forward. Maybe there is someone else that you can help out? Sort of like a three-way apartment swap but there can be even more people involved. By giving and receiving help you will create a great surrounding where everyone will flourish.
This is very important if you are the one being asked to help out. Be grateful and humble that someone asked you for help. Someone actually thinks you are good at something! Don’t ridicule or patronize. Simply help them to the best of your ability. Or if you cannot, explain why and if possible point them in the direction of someone who can. Turn them down in a gentle way.
So start getting into the habit of helping people out without expecting anything in return. I guarantee you will get a kick out of it. The feeling of actually helping someone else out is great. Kind of addictive really, but this is one addiction that will not ruin your life.
Well, OK, there will always be people who only take and never give, but they will be weeded out pretty soon and everyone will get tired of them and stop helping them. Like the rating system on Airbnb, if you get bad reviews you are pretty soon out of business.
There is always someone who knows someone that you can turn to. After all, with only six degrees of separation, anyone on the planet is basically within your reach. And most people don’t mind helping out, even if it means no immediate benefit to them. Someday they might need help themselves and perhaps you or someone that you know can provide it.
As for our veranda, it’s coming along nicely. We managed to get by, even with 2 holes only halfway down. Turns out there was some unexpected concrete construction underground, probably some remains from when the house was heated with woodchips. We would never have made it without the help given. I just love power tools!