My biggest, most recent A-Ha! moment came when I stumbled across the Nedlog Rule.
Never be afraid to ask for the help you really need. That's not weakness, that's intelligent self-awareness.
On second study, the Nedlog Rule is a variation on Give to Get.
But you must always operate without expecting anything in return.
Except the satisfaction of doing the right thing. - JDW
We are all familiar with The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And there's a reason that, in one form or another, it appears in the scriptures of every major spiritual tradition - it's the right thing to do.
The Nedlog Rule is The Golden Rule in reverse:
Be willing to ask others to help you in whatever ways you would be willing to help them.
In healthcare we ask "who cares for the caregiver?" It's an important question because, as is often said, you cannot pour out of an empty pitcher. It's wisdom as ancient as the I Ching: every now and then, the pitcher needs to be taken out of service and refilled.
In our Lone Ranger culture, we are often reluctant to ask for the help we need. We mistakenly think that it's a sign of weakness to ask for help. But actually, the reverse is true. It takes a strong person to ask others for help. Paradoxically, when you ask someone else to help you, more often than not both of you benefit - isn't it true that most people feel good about being needed and about being able to help someone else?
Think of how much more positive and productive our organizations - and our families - would be if everyone were to practice the Nedlog Rule:
Passive-aggressive behavior would be replaced by people openly and honestly confronting the issues and discussing their differences.
Martyr complex would be replaced by people asking for help before they become overwhelmed, and asking for a break before they reach the breaking point.
Chronic complaining would be replaced by people asking for help to fix the problems that can be fixed and to cope with the predicaments that are beyond immediate solution (obviously a restatement of the Serenity Prayer).
Burnout would be replaced by the sort of collective spirit one sees in a support group, where people who are facing intractable problems reach out to one another to share hope, inspiration, and courage - and a culture where it's almost impossible to distinguish between helper and helpee.
At the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) in San Antonio, caregivers work with some of the most grievously injured soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - typically men and women who have been horribly disfigured and/or lost one or more limbs. The work is as physically and emotionally demanding as any job in healthcare, yet people on the CFI team are incredibly positive, committed, and creative.
CFI's caregivers practice the Golden Rule, treating these wounded warriors the way that they themselves would want to be treated. But they also encourage these soldiers to get into the discipline of consistently practicing the Nedlog Rule by having the courage to ask for the help they need now, and in many cases will need for the rest of their lives.
In their book of the same title, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen say that "The Aladdin Factor" is asking the right question of the right person at the right time. Internalize the Nedlog Rule and you will find yourself, like Aladdin, finding help coming from unexpected places.
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