Use your resources

When I was younger, one thing my mother used to always tell me was, that If I didn’t understand something, to ask questions. This was actually really difficult for me as a kid. I was always praised for being smart, and so I figured that, if I didn’t understand something right away, I wasn’t smart. I didn’t want to seem stupid, so a lot of the time I’d simply struggle through things until it eventually clicked. Thankfully it did all of the time (else I’d be kind of screwed right now), but I would have saved myself a lot of time and headaches if I had just swallowed my useless pride and asked for help.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I was also afraid to ask people to do things and for things I wanted. I was so afraid of people saying no that I didn’t realize not asking was basically the same thing. Over time, I learned that you never had anything to lose when it came to asking someone for something. The worse that could happen when you ask someone for a favor is the same as the thing that will happen if you don’t: it doesn’t happen at all. I think I’d rather gamble on a chance of being told yes than accepting no as my fate. If I asked everyone I came in contact with during a day for a dollar, someone would say yes eventually, making me a dollar richer than if I didn’t ask anyone at all.

I’ve learned that it’s good to ask for help, and that it’s okay to ask for things. In general, I’ve learned that it’s good to ask questions. With all of the resources that one may have access too, it only makes sense to use them. I’m not just talking about teachers and mentors who are available to help you in life in general. You have people in your life who have things that they no longer need or what. It is very possible that you may need or want something that someone else has. Even if you don’t know if they have it, it wouldn’t hurt to ask. You never know what someone would be willing to give you. Personally, I’ve acquired a great deal of much needed and wanted items over the years by getting them from friends, family, and mentors.

Everyone is a resource, and you should make sure to keep that in mind. It’s the same thing as networking (actually, it is networking pretty much). Just remember, however, that you can’t expect people to help you if you don’t help them out when you can. I’m not saying to kiss up to someone every time you need something, because that shouldn’t be the only time you interact with them. I’m only saying that if you can help someone, help them. You never know if they’ll be able to help you out as well. No one can do life on their own, and even if someone could, I doubt they’d want to do it.

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