Like almost everyone, I can’t write much detail about what I do at work.
But I can say that I work in healthcare management, that I love my job, and that I’m lucky to have a job where I get to help a lot of people. I often get to travel on special assignments, and I usually get to help people who very badly need the help.
The other thing I can share is that no matter where I go, no matter whom I help, no matter how hard I work, and no matter how sincerely I try, I always encounter the same thing: people pretty much hate me.
They don’t hate me forever. In fact, they often end up loving me. But that comes only after a long, painful period of pretty much hating me. I'm kind of like the Nanny McPhee of healthcare management: “When you need me but do not want me, I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go.”
consistent agreement with a puzzling fact: it’s unbelievably hard to help the people we most want to help.
I’m trying my best to understand how to help people. This is a work in progress and I still fail more than I succeed. But here’s what I’m what I’m finding:
1. Believe: Believe in the help you are giving. Believe that it is needed and that it serves a higher purpose than your own self interests. If you’re not helping towards something that you believe in right down to your bones, then find something else to help with.
2. Work: Nothing works like work! If you want to get twice as much done, work twice as much. If there are magic wands hiding out there, I’ve not yet found any of them.
3. Power: Don’t accept the responsibility to help without also securing the power to help. Nothing is more frustrating than having the accountability for outcomes without the ability to affect them. If there are power struggles that prevent you from being able to help, either stoically eliminate them or withdraw your offer to help. Don’t be afraid of power, which is not inherently evil. Remember that in addition to being all-knowing and all-loving, God is also all-powerful.
4. Serve: Once the necessary power is obtained, it can immediately become your worst enemy. Be careful how you wield it. Take utmost care in the
way you present yourself—are you demonstrating the perks of your power or the good you can do with it? Remember to help others with persuasion, patience, gentleness, meekness, sincerity, and love.
5. People: Since you can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything all on your own, you need to find great people to help you before you can pursue great outcomes. Start looking for great people right away! But also remember that almost all people want to be great and can be with a little help. Don’t ever underestimate a person’s ability to improve.
6. Pray: Pray every day for success in the work you do. Pray for opportunities to help people. Remember that blessings come from work and that prayer is another way to work toward the blessings that God already wants to give you. And prayer is like exercise: you’re probably doing a
lot less of it than you realize.
7. Balance: No success outside of the home can compensate for failure inside the home. And be wary of getting overly busy. Not only because it hurts you and your loved ones, but because it ultimately takes away from your ability to help anyone at all. We often remind ourselves at work
that “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
I’d love to hear from other people on this topic: What challenges have you faced as you try to help others? What strategies have you developed to be truly helpful to those you serve?
Where do you think I’m getting it wrong on my observations about helping