A mother and her daughter are walking on a trail.
They come across a fallen branch blocking their path. The daughter asks the mother, “Do you think, if I use all of my strength, I can move the branch off the trail?”
The mother thinks for a moment, then looks at her daughter and says, “Yes. If you use all of your strength, I promise you’ll be able to move the branch off the trail.”
So the daughter tries with all her might to lift the branch. She tries to drag the branch out of the way. Then, when she’s close to tears, she looks at her mother and says, “You promised I’d be able to move it.”
Her mother smiles. “Yes, I did promise. But you didn’t use all of your strength. You didn’t ask me to help. Using your voice to ask for help is part of your strength.”
Daniel Epstein, the founder of Unreasonable told me this story. I love this story because it hits on a simple truth that many of us forget: the power in asking for help. (Listen to the Purpose and Profit episode with Daniel here.)
For most of my life, I was like the daughter in this story. I believed that I had to do everything on my own. I felt that getting help was cheating.
Survival of the fittest. The rule of nature.
Believing we are training to survive.
That survival is the point.
Push the bird out of the nest, so it learns to fly.
Believing survival is a solo journey.
For so long, I misunderstood life. The point of life isn’t surviving. After all, none of us make it out of life alive. The point is to thrive for the brief amount of time we’re here. The point is connection. The point is seeing and being seen. The point is helping and being helped. The point is to create things that make life better, because we existed.
Take an honest look at your life.
Where are you trying to move the branch by yourself?
Where can you tap into all of your strength by asking for help?