He was driving around for almost half an hour. He was lost. He had no idea where he was. Even his GPS was no help. There was no way he was going to get to his destination. There was no source of information he could tap into.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Have you ever been with someone who was lost and kept driving around saying things like, “Seriously, I think it’s right up this street,” or, “We’re pretty close…”, but he would not stop and ask someone for directions.
The popular theory is that most men, when lost, will not ask for help. In fact, one study states that men, on average, drive 276 miles lost every year! That’s right, 276 miles lost. Unbelievable, isn’t it? One man stated there weren’t just two categories of lost vs. not lost. Instead, he believed that the grey area in between was actually part of discovering your way to your ultimate destination – so you really weren’t “lost”.
I find all of this so interesting. You can go with the stereotype that men have a harder time asking for directions than women do or you can just say, as I do, that there’s a certain kind of person who finds it more difficult. In fact, it is more difficult for this kind of person to get help of any kind, no matter the situation.
What prompted me to write about this subject was an experience Jeff and I had recently when we were meeting with an MGO who is part of a very large national organization that is organized into chapters. The MGO was asking for help with a specific situation. We gave her some answers we had from our experience. But then I said, “Ann (not her real name), I know the chapter right here in your state has been very successful dealing with that same situation. In fact, the MGO there is currently dealing with it in a pretty creative way.”
“Do you know that MGO?” I asked her.
“No,” she replied.
“How come?” I asked. “Your colleague is just a phone call away. In fact, you could get in your car right now and be with him in a little under one hour. Have you ever thought about doing that?’
“No,” she replied.
I was shocked. And then, as Jeff and I compared notes, we realized that very few people actually ask for help on most subjects. Why is that? Is it arrogance? Will it make the person look weak, stupid or incompetent? Who knows?
I’ve always been one to ask all kinds of questions in all kinds of situations. That’s how I learn. And it’s how you can learn as well.
Think about it for a second. The only way to wisdom and knowledge is by sitting at the feet of others who have that wisdom and knowledge and receiving it from them. That is the only way. You can’t get it any other way.
We do this in our lifetime in various ways:
- We go to school and receive knowledge from teachers and other students interacting with those teachers.
- We read books.
- We go online.
- We go to seminars and take special classes.
- We watch TV or go to movies.
- We sit and talk to experts.
The common theme is that we are acquiring knowledge and wisdom from others through various channels – electronic, print, personal interface etc.
That’s why the phrase, “There is wisdom in counsel” is true. When we take counsel, we secure wisdom. We find a way. We become enlightened. We know what to do.
It has always amazed me that some people have trouble with the concept of going to a counselor for any kind of problem or situation. They think that going to another person to secure knowledge and insight is a sign of weakness. What? This is crazy! Counseling is simply a path toward wisdom. It is a way to unravel the mystery in your head – to find your way.
OK, so here’s the point. Right around you, either in your organization or outside of it, right in your city or state, are a host of experts – counselors, if you will, ready to share their experiences and knowledge, IF you will just ask them. Take steps today to tap into this very rich source of information and experience.
It will change your life and make you successful. Why? Because taking counsel is THE way of wisdom.