You'll Get More Help From Others If You Help Yourself

Today while Matt Beaudreau was talking to the high schoolers during morning meeting, he shared an extremely interesting piece of information with them.

He quoted a story from Kevin Heart. On two separate occasions, Kevin’s car broke down on the side of the road. On one of the occasions, Kevin tried flagging passerby’s down in an attempt to find help. No one stopped to help him and ignored his pleas for help. On the second occasion of his car breaking down, he didn’t bother to ask for help, he just began pushing his car. It was this time that people pulled over to assist. 

The moral of the story was that people are more willing to help those who are already helping themselves. 

Suddenly, it made a lot of sense. 

We, as humans, naturally gravitate towards people who are putting in effort to fix their own problems, to make their dreams a reality, to help others with their struggles. 

We are naturally repelled by those who sit there and do nothing, but still complain about their situation. It’s only natural to have a reaction that says “Of course you’re struggling with that, you’re not doing anything to change your own situation.”

The desire to help others is stronger when the other person is already making an effort. We know that our assistance will actually mean something and actually make an impact. 

I have found this to be just as true online as it is in person. 

When I work on projects, I document the process on my blog and other social media platforms. By sharing what I’m learning and giving other people access to my own learning materials, more people are interested in sharing more resources with me. Or they even ask me how they can support me in my goals and I build new connections. 

People are more interested in supporting someone who supports themselves and supports others.