Lately, I’ve been thinking about the “could’ve beens” and “what ifs” in my life. One missed job opportunity here, one failed attempt at love there. These demons have been eating me up at 2 in the morning to the point that I always ask myself, “Do nice guys finish last?” To keep it real with you guys, I may have found my answer to that annoying yet self-consuming question.
It’s not because I’m incapable. What am I talking about? I graduated college for crying out loud. It’s not because I’m an introvert. If anything, some of the most successful moguls and pioneers are the quiet ones. There’s no way in hell that it’s because I lack confidence and work ethic. These characteristics have been my calling cards since Day 1.
The real reason why I feel all this self-doubt within me is due to my inability to accept someone else’s guidance when I need it most. In short, “I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP” is the main reason why my big breaks keep passing me by. Now don’t get me wrong. This does not mean I’m snobbish. If anything, I’m always inviting towards others even though I’m rarely invited by others. I never wanted to be considered a “snob” to you guys. Sure, my facade may seem very shy and timid, but deep down, I welcome open discourse and public conversation.
But back to my point, I can’t seem to figure out this new world of growing up, aka “adulting”. With the gift of hindsight (in this case, it’s a curse), I’ve seen many chances drift away from me because I didn’t know what to do next. More often than not, I’m a lost baby-faced dude both on the inside and outside. This world has given me this illusion that each situation is a multi-pieced puzzle to solve. In reality, it ain’t. All it takes are a few steps, with the first step being “asking for help”.
The desire for independence and the misconception that everyone has it figured out on their own has been haunting me for years. My mind has been fixated on such useless competitions, those that determine one’s greatness based on how little help someone like me receives instead of how much I need that help for my breakthroughs to happen. I may have aged in years, but my wisdom is far from perfect. Have I forgotten that “It takes a village to raise a child”? Let me take it one step further, “It takes a community to raise an adult.”
Which is why from now on, the very first thing I’ll do when I receive notifications from LinkedIn is show these to my parents. They’ve been in the corporate working world themselves. Therefore, if anything, they’re the ones I need to go to right away. I gotta remind myself to form this habit of seeking advice instead of burying these messages while overthinking at 3 am what to do next.
When I don’t know what to do with my crushes, yes, I’m gonna hate doing this again for sure, but for my own good, imma bring them up too. Not just to mom and dad (even though they’re the best source of guidance even though deep down they sound authoritative on these things, thus the fear and differing opinions), but even with you guys. Pieces of advice are not meant to be taken to heart, even if they come from those older than you. Just know that a.) they have nothing but the best intentions because they’ve been there as well, and b.) at the end of the day, the final decision is still up to you with. After all, independence, free will and happiness are what we GenZers desire, right?
On a more serious note, we live in a society today where misinformation is the new “normal”. How the heck can we navigate this cold messed up world if we’re not even gonna allow ourselves to seek directions from others. One misstep here could be the ultimate difference maker between living for another day and breathing your last breath. Had you listened to what your wiser folks had to say, maybe you would have avoided the inevitable rejections. Maybe your salaries would be a lot higher had you decided to give this opportunity a chance instead of looking for another job.
If anything, the most underrated yet all-important trait we actually need to equip ourselves with, is that of being teachable. For once, why don’t we try taking off our Mr and Ms. Know It All caps. Maybe it’s time we quit doing things on our own and try seeking a helping hand once in a while. Of course, it’s only fitting we give back and pay it forward as well. The help that you receive needs to be passed on to future generations. Our greatest teachers are each other because we are symbiotic relational human beings.
So in another episode of “Where Mom Was Right”, I guess I Do Need Your Help After All.