In an interview with Oprah, Chris Rock tells of his troubling times as a starving artist.
Given that he had no money, he says he would often own terrible cars that in some way or another, would always end up broken down on the highway.
Whenever he stood there and tried to flag someone down, they would simply drive right by him.
However, anytime he got behind the car and started pushing, what would happen? Others would pull over and start pushing it too.
In essence, self-help is always the best help. No one is going to help you until you help yourself. If you wait around for someone else to change your life, then it’s never going to happen. As Benjamin P. Hardy writes,
“Until you can honestly look in the mirror and admit you are the sole cause of everything happening in your life, then you won’t have the power to change your life.”
What needs to be understood is that it’s never the situation that matters. Instead, it’s what you do about it. Whenever something good or bad happens, you always have a choice about how you respond.
As Viktor E. Frankl teaches, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
When you choose to respond positively, you open up the possibility for something much bigger. Rather than raveling in defeat, you take control of the situation instead of letting it control you.
And this makes a world of difference. Because while you can’t control that you didn’t get the job, that a piece of art failed or that your car broke down. You can, however, control what happens after the fact.
You can apply for another role. You can create better art. You can get out and push.
And this is exactly the sort of behavior that people like to see. When you take consistent steps in the right direction, other people will eventually arrive to help you along your path. As Lao Tzu has famously said,
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
Although, the hard truth remains: No one is going to do it for you. No one will care more about your success than you. In the end, the grunt of the responsibility will fall onto you.
However, don’t think you can or need to push your “car” all by yourself, either. Of course, Robin Sharma has brilliantly said, “The bigger the dream, the more important the team.” And he’s completely right.
Benjamin P. Hardy has similarly said that you cannot overcome addiction by yourself. To do so is like trying to pull yourself out of quicksand; for all your efforts, you’ll only find yourself sinking deeper and deeper.
And the same is true for goals or anything life. We are not playing a single-player game, but rather, a multiplayer. Everyone is simply trying to do the best they can do.
Thus, you need not be too proud to ask for help if you’re having a hard time. It’s not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. It shows you care about yourself and understand your limits.
So, why spend any longer than needed unnecessary pain? Why sit hopelessly on the side of the road when other people are ready to help if you would first just help yourself?
Indeed, it really is a choice!
It’s your choice if you thrive or suffer.
It’s your choice if you get help or not.
So, which will you choose?