This life is like one giant jigsaw puzzle. Some parts of the puzzle fit easily into place, others do not, and there are holes in places on your puzzle.
You may have lost your job, wonder how you will pay your bills, have an unexpected medical issue, thought you would have your own family by now, or had to cancel travel plans abroad.
When you get stuck and don’t know where to turn, you want to have a plan of attack so you don’t feel helpless.
For some it’s natural to turn to others for help. But, if you’re independent and self-sufficient, that’s the last place you may want to go to. Asking for help is not an automatic reaction.
You may be someone who rarely gets asked to do anything because people know to ask others who won’t hesitate, or they believe can help.
While others are always asked to help because they have energy and the reputation of helping others. They’ll do what is asked without question.
Neither is better than the other, as each person chooses what is best for them.
Whatever your current situation helping others, this can be the puzzle piece answer you need to get the help you need. Getting help and giving help will help you find solutions to your own stuck places.
If you give help with your talents, skills, willing spirit and through compassion on problems and pains you suffered through, help will come back to you. If you give, you will get when you least expect.
To start this positive chain reaction, you could ask people, strangers, and friends how you can help. If you can’t help their requests, think of ideas and resources that can be helpful for them.
This is a giving-getting help idea list I came up, with that I refer to when I feel stuck or wonder what I should do now:
Make a list of resources you have where you can give and get help.
You have more than you can think of in your mind. You may think of technology (websites, phone apps, etc.). There are so many other places.
Get: Are you on podcasts? There’s a podcast on every topic under the sun. Good, deep information and ideas from thought leaders that can get your wheels turning.
Local news is another great place to get good, creative ideas. You discover people showing up and showing out what they are capable of that you would have never thought of. let alone do.
What anyone says they will do, is not the same as actually taking action. Most people have good intentions, but it’s better to be productive and say what you did, then to proclaim what you will do, that may or may not happen.
Give: Comment and support others’ efforts when you can. Share ideas with friends that you learn.
Treat everyone like friends. It’s easy to call everyone friends because if they are a friend or follower on social media, you call them a friend.
Friends give help and they get help, otherwise one would be superior over the other. They share challenges and solutions.
With the help of social media, you know what your circle of influence is doing with themselves and you can easily connect.
Think of your mentors you may have once had. Or your life coaches. Or like-minded tribes that you belong to or find in your internet research.
Some may be so obvious as you check their sites regularly, but have never reached out to the people contributing.
Think of memberships that you hold or once held.
Think of email lists you’ve subscribed to.
I have a friend who is a natural connector and job matchmaker. She listens to needs and then introduces people she knows that can help. This came about because of a loss in job and she needed connections, so she knows what that feels like. It was natural for her to provide this gift as help to others.
We have a unique opportunity to become a solution in society now where there are many critical needs. Act local, give global was a popular saying pre-internet. Now you can do both.
Attend helpful Zoom calls, webinars, virtual learning sites.
What causes do you stand for? If you go to any non-profit or charitable website you can see how you can help now. If you want to donate, you can visit any fundraiser site. GoFundMe is popular as I’m writing this.
Think of yourself on a Zoom call with the 9 screens. Think of each screen as a friend or family member, like the original 70’s Brady Bunch family sitcom.
Who would you want on that call? What would you be talking about that you have in common? The dynamics change when there are more than just two of you.
I recently spoke with a friend who is a school teacher and school age parent. I have not had the privilege of serving either role. Interestingly, she asked my thoughts about virtual vs. traditional schooling decisions. I had an outside perspective that she liked as she had a different set of perspectives.
Even when you’re not qualified, you just never know how you can help others.
Make a list where you find peace.
You can help others get peace as you give peace in your daily interactions in the world.
If you have a problem so big you can’t solve, you should find peace, and avoid any worry to take over.
It will work out one way or another. Maybe not in the way you thought, but all problems will end eventually.
Find a place to get peace at least weekly, or your well-being can suffer. Finding another outlet to channel your unsettled feelings, is the solution to getting peace:
Meditation and prayer. Let go of areas you can’t change. Seek to find peaceful solutions to areas you can.
Nature. Watching birds and squirrels can be calming. You see how they aren’t concerned with problems in their ecosystem. They’re just doing what they instinctively know what to do. They don’t get inside their head with thoughts.
By looking at waterfalls, lakes, and mountains, you can be mesmerized by majestic beauty. You don’t have to wait until the weekend, when you can get to a park, or time-off to appreciate.
In between turning my computer on and writing, there is a new landscape scene from an exotic location in the world. In that moment, I’m able to reset my mind to a place of peace and feel inspiration for the day.
I can turn my head and look up at a framed hanging painting with peaceful boats on a sea.
Or I can look out the window at my marigold flowering plant. When I see the plant is about to sprout sunny yellow flowers, it reminds me of the sun where I feel peace and protection.
When I took a sabbatical, I spent a lot of my time in peace and just being. When I started to feel a daily restlessness, that’s when I knew it was time to get back into society and start producing. I could sense getting physically plugged back into the world is what I needed.
Encourage and support others. Be a soft shoulder to cry on. Provide helpful advice.
Make a list of long term productive-to-your-growth activities you could do (and do them).
Enough sleep, exercise, relaxation, and positive energy. These 4 items affect your overall physical and mental health, and eventually what you can do.
Keep going and growing. When you’re too tired to do anything, then resort to watching mindless television. What you watch has a great impact on your moods and outlook.
If you watch sad stories you can take on depression, or you can feel more compassion. Pay attention to how you feel when you watch certain shows. A television show can impact you more than the work you just did.
If you’re constantly checking the weather and this-or-that stats that aren’t really that important to you, you can start to feel anxious.
Get out of your familiar routines that create anxiety. Your regular routine can take you into a rut. A rut gets you stuck. Try new things, variety, and gain different experiences so you can focus on discovering what you want long term, and not just satisfying your wants of today.
Stay busy being productive minded.
Volunteering and signing up for activities are easy ways to get back into community. They can turn into other busy opportunities.
If you’re working on yourself, you’re helping others. Because you’re becoming consistent and reliable. Others can trust you will do your best. People who want to grow have a conscience, and want to be giving, respectful, and kind to every human being.
You can can help others by not always giving in and saying yes. Remember the person I described above as always asked to help, who helps.
Unintentionally these helpers can agree to their detriment. What is good, isn’t good for everyone. We all have different paths.
You can also teach others how to treat you. If you reply back to every message you don’t agree on, just stop. Your silence can speak louder than words. And they can later on appreciate what you productively helped them see.
When you do what you know in your heart is right, then you can optimize helping others and society in one of the greatest ways — by setting an example.
Previously published on Medium.com
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