• David Strittmatter

Utilize the power of community

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much – Helen Keller

Summary:

  • You simply cannot do everything by yourself

  • People love helping and doing favors

  • Each and every problem has already been faced or even been solved by another person

Practical advice:

  • Rewire your brain and implement a win-win mindset

  • Ask yourself every time you face a problem: How can someone else help me? Who has most likely already faced this situation?

  • Give without keeping score & become part of our community


Dear friend,


This week, together with my new flatmate, I moved to a new apartment. After we had purchased our new furniture at IKEA, needless to say, we needed to put it together. My flatmate asked a friend whether he wanted to help him, and his friend was almost eager to help him out; he was kinda thrilled to set up his desk for him.


This anecdote reminded me of my past self contrarily: I used to never ask for help, either because of my ego or because of my belief that nobody likes helping.


In today’s blog post, I will write about this misconception, the shift of my mindset, why we should never hesitate to ask for help, and how you can better achieve your goals with the power of community.


People love solving problems & doing favors


In my youth, I really disliked when people wanted to help me with something. I wanted to do everything by myself as I didn’t trust others, didn’t understand the power of community, and felt kinda disabled when others helped me.


My mindset changed after I had read the book Never eat alone, had taken action, and had implemented the concepts. Today, I know that in my past days, I was an idiot: You simply cannot do everything by yourself. You’re not stupid, you’re not incapable of anything, and you can trust your friends and family when you let them help you.


Additionally, I made a crucial realization: People love helping and doing favors.


A factor that still inhibits me from asking for support is the notion that the task is unpleasant and I don’t want other to feel uncomfortable. It might be true that a problem you need to solve requires unpleasant work, such as carrying heavy furniture. However, you almost always experience a lot of joy when you do someone a favor. And still feeling alone most often far outweighs the discomfort the task might bring along.


On top of that, when you ask the right people, they will most likely enjoy the task itself. For instance, I love helping others with maths. When I was in high school and someone asked me for help, I was eager to study with them. Another example: The friend of my flatmate really enjoyed setting up the new desk. If I had built up this desk, though, I wouldn’t have been pleased with it at all.


Support from others is a massive lever


Not only most people will like doing you a favor when you ask them for help, but also they will help you to achieve your goal more successfully.


Each and every problem has already been faced or even been solved by another person. By asking for help, you can tap this experience and knowledge. For instance, without the help of his friend, my flatmate had taken so much more time to set up all the furniture.


Moreover, solely asking for advice can prevent you from doing unnecessary mistakes. In most areas of life, every beginner does the same mistakes. Asking a more experienced person for help massively decreases the likelihood that you will do them as well.


Without the support of the people around you, nothing great has ever been achieved. Every great accomplishment is the result of united people working towards a common goal. Yet, no matter how large or small your challenge is, never hesitate to ask a friend or your family for help.


How to harness the power of community


Now, how can you convince yourself to ask more often for help? How can you make use of the power of community?


First, rewire your brain and implement a win-win mindset: Think about situations when you helped someone you like. In most cases, you had at least a decent but most often a great time. It feels great to do others a favor, in particular when they are appreciative. The same goes for everyone. Don't be afraid to offer others an opportunity to do you a favor.


Second, ask yourself every time you face a problem: How can someone else help me? Who has most likely already faced this situation? Once you make it a habit to question a challenge and contemplate people who can help you, asking for help will become easier and easier.


Third, give without keeping score. Another important step to utilize the power of the community is to become part of it. Most of you will already apply this mindset, however, some of you might struggle with the following issue as I used to: In my early days as a teenager, I only did something when I knew that I'll receive something in return.


Consequently, I only asked for help when I knew that I've already done a favor for this person. Today, I know that I must not keep score. As a result, I ask for a favor even though I don't know whether I can give (enough) something in return. And that's totally fine. There're plenty of people who have much more resources than most of us will ever have and they're just waiting for others to tap this pool since they know that sharing makes happy.


For example, if you somehow personally knew Bill Gates and could ask him for a little investment in your social startup, he would most likely welcome this opportunity since he wants to contribute to a better world. Even though you can never give him something equivalent in return, you still should go for it. And the same goes for everything.


Once you stop keeping score and start asking for help whenever the power of community can be made use of, you will progress significantly.

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