Published: 14th December 2019
Canteen Fundas: When in doubt, here's why you should always reach out for help
Pro challenge: When you’re stuck, ask for help. It’s the fastest way to learn. If your stuck and you don't want to ask for help as you can't set aside your ego, it will not be helpful
Rinku, where’s Rahul?’ asked Rakesh. ‘Haven’t seen him for a while now.’
‘He couldn’t follow-up on your advice from last week, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘So he’s avoiding you.’
‘But why?’ said Rakesh.
‘Shy to ask again, I guess,’ said Rinku. ‘It happens to all of us, bhaiyya. Even in class, we’re scared to ask again. Rahul thought he understood what you said, but when he tried to practise it, he was stuck.’
‘Let’s call him,’ smiled Rakesh.
Rahul arrived, looking sheepish. ‘Sorry, bhaiyya. I haven’t been able to follow your advice. I’ve nothing to report.’
‘Rahul, that’s exactly when you need to meet me instead of avoiding me,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘It’s not a mistake to fail the first or second time. Our biggest mistake is not asking for help when we’re stuck and, thereby, not completing the learning process. Learning something new is always difficult. Next time you feel stuck, approach your teachers or elders for support and guidance.’
‘I thought you’d be angry, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I thought I’d come to you after successfully completing it.’
‘Rahul,’ said Rakesh. ‘You need help when you are struggling so that you don’t give up or learn the wrong things. All good teachers know they have to be patient and supportive. But even if your teacher is impatient, it’s still your job to learn for yourself.’
‘But won’t asking for help often make us dependent?’ asked Rinku
‘Good question,’ said Rakesh. ‘You’ll become dependent if you ask for help without trying first. Give it a good try. Then, share your problems. Your teacher can show you what you’re doing wrong. As a student, your only job is to learn.’
‘It’s okay to ask many times then?’ asked Rahul.
‘Yes, Rahul,’ said Rakesh. ‘Asking for help is good for your growth in many ways. First, it hones your learning mindset. Second, it keeps the biggest barrier of learning, your ego, in check. Feeling shy or ashamed are also related to ego. So, set your ego aside and practice asking for help from a mentor. There’s a solution for everything if you look for it.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I feel much lighter now. I’ll practise asking for help.’
‘Great! Ask Chotu for chai then,’ said Rinku.