Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Art of Asking

Just watched an awesome TEDtalk video by Amanda Palmer on the art of asking.  And this really struck a cord with me.  Funny because Amanda is a musician and her talk struck a you get it? Anyway...

Amanda is a lady whose gives her music away and was able to generate 1.2 Million dollars?!?!  She simply asks for her fans to support her.  Watch the video and it will make more sense.  It is very powerful.

But it brings to a line I use Ask you shall...Receive.  The hard part fr me is the asking.  As Amanda said there is a sense of shame, of sense of it looks like you can not accomplish the job on your own, a sense of vulnerability.  Those statements are true, except the shame.  We can not accomplish the job on our own, and we are vulnerable.  The problem comes from saying those things like they are bad, or wrong.

There is nothing wrong with wanting others to help you or wanting help others.  In fact if you don't allow others to help you are blocking the circle of giving.

Last month I had to get some wood for the martial arts school for board breaking.  I didn't own a truck, so I had to ask for help.  This was and is probably one of the toughest things I had to do.  I have gotten wood 3 times, first time I went to a friend and was going to borrow his Nissan Pathfinder to load 400 board feet of wood into.  Not an easy task, he offered to come and help, I said "Sure that would be great"  meanwhile inside I felt shame for him "feeling" he had to help.  Second time I went to another friend who had a truck who was not using it, I felt better about asking because at least she did not help.  Third time I went to the ultimate source of displaying vulnerability Facebook.  This was huge for me, because what if I got no reply that would mean I was rejected.  Not just my request but me personally.  I know it sounds funny but that is the thought process for so many of us.  We script things in our mind.  Reality is I had lots of people offer help and one friend who said I could use his truck but that he was free and would love to help with loading.  It worked out great we had a great talk about his recent trip about where he came from, how he ended up here.  So in the simple act  of asking for help, and accepting the gift (use of the truck and the help) I was able to make a better connection with someone.

Too often we don't ask for help because we are afraid to make a deeper connection, afraid to show people we are vulnerable and the we need help in our life.  I hate to break it to you but you would not be where you are wherever you are with out help. Help from the doctor at birth, help from a friend during school, help from a coach, a teacher, co-worker, or help from your parents at some point during life, or help from God (you can call it the universe or infinite intelligence).  The point is it is okay to ask for help, it is okay to accept help, it is okay to have that closer connection to someone else.

I was having coffee with a friend, and texted him to ask if I could get anything for him so that it was there for him when he arrived.  I received a text (I thought it was from him) Saying I could use a truck I have to move a couch"  I thought that was weird, not at all what I expected.  I replied okay let me work on the truck can I get you a coffee or tea?  The person replied back "Is this not ....?"  I said "No".  Long story short this person texted the wrong number.  Rather than leave it as a mistake on their part.  I followed up with them to make sure they had indeed gotten a truck to move the couch, I even offered my friends truck to help.  

If we do not connect we can not really exist, or at least it is not nearly as much fun.  And life is about Enjoying the Journey.


Chris Rowe

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