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Feeling Stuck? Help Someone.

By David Ackert on January, 16 2014

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David Ackert

I didn't expect it to happen so early in the year, but this week I got stuck. The enthusiasm and hopefulness I experienced with the transition of the new year was suddenly gone. I couldn’t find the motivation to pursue all the goals and ideas I had written down just a few weeks ago. It was dreadful.

I know this feeling well—it hits me every so often, and no amount of caffeine or positive self-talk can snap me out of it. The only thing that seems to work is service.

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It’s only natural to feel despondent from time to time, especially when prospects say “no” or clients say “now” or colleagues say “never.” It’s easy to feel like we are at the center of our very own bleak universe, where circumstances conspire against us and the ideal outcome is beyond our grasp. In moments like these, the best course of action I know is to pick up the phone and offer help.

  • Clients: "I’m checking in to see how things are going and if there’s anything I can do for you today."
  • Referral sources: "I haven’t asked you this in a while—what kinds of introductions are you seeking? Perhaps I can make a connection for you."
  • Colleagues: "What are you working on and how can I help?"

For me, this kind of proactive, selfless outreach interrupts my self-absorption and redirects my energy onto other people’s problems. Somehow I’m much better at solving those than I am at digging out from my own. And strangely enough, my attitude improves and my issues dissipate the moment I feel I am being helpful to the people that matter to me.

Certainly, it’s a counter-intuitive move. Our tendency is to fixate on our own problems until we feel we have the energy to deal with others’. But I assert that, in this case, the solution is in the cart rather than the horse. So the next time you’re feeling stuck, look around and find someone who needs a hand. It’s one of the best ways you can help yourself.

Authored by David Ackert 

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