Develop a Two-Way Help Habit

Work lessons from home--when you're incapacitated, you have to rely on others.

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Curt Rosengren
I have written here before about the importance of the support of others on the path to your career dreams. This past week, I’ve had the message driven home--just how important that is, not only in our careers, but in our lives.

Since last Wednesday, I have been frustratingly incapacitated. I’ll spare you the details, but it has to do with complications from a kidney stone and multiple trips to the emergency room. I’ve been stuck at home, and reliant on the help of friends (and yes, I’m slowly feeling better, thanks).

For someone as fiercely independent as I tend to be, feeling so dependent--even temporarily--has been a challenge. But it has also been a learning opportunity that is focusing my attention on the importance of offering and accepting assistance.

I am struck by the power of that one simple word: help. This whole experience is reinforcing my belief that offering and accepting help is the fiber that weaves together both our individual and collective potential. Whether that's support through trying times, or a boost to take it to the next level, giving and receiving assistance eases the way.

Not only does it ease the way, it also builds community. And in these challenging days, we need community more than ever.

Try this: Explore developing a “help habit.”

First, take a look around you and ask, “What help do I need?” Focus first on your career, and then expand it to other parts of your life. Once you identify it, brainstorm where you might find that help. Then reach out and ask.

Second, make it a regular habit to look around and ask, “Who needs my help? What help do I have to offer?” Reach out and offer your assistance, even if only in small ways.

Keep the circular flow of assistance moving.

After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.