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The key to solving your problems is not only asking for help, but asking more than one person
Get help solving problems from a few of your friends
Self-help gurus say being able to ask others for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Despite this well-meant advice, I cringe each time I have to rely on others to fix a knotty problem. Recently, for example, I had to decide about an ageing but beloved vintage car: sell it at a loss, store it at a friend’s, or try to interest a collector who would presumably want to restore it?
In the past, I would have tried only one approach – asking my friend to find a spot in her building’s garage. Then I would have stewed while waiting for a call that never came.
Now, I don’t have to brood. Using my Rule of Three to solve this problem, I’ve also e-mailed the car club and posted my car-for-sale ad on classified websites. One of these solutions is sure to come through.
If you need a problem solved, simply ask three different people for help. Follow this process:
Ask only one person for a favour, and everything rides on their response. Ask three, and you’ve always got two more irons in the fire.
The Rule of Three doesn’t always get immediate results, but it’s practically guaranteed to provide you with a lead. Like my advice on how to make decisions, it’s a little trick leading to big solutions. And if you’re trying to keep New Year’s resolutions, more tools can only help.
Try the Rule of Three. Once you get in the habit, it’ll become so ingrained that should you forget – ask a colleague to cover for you, for example, and receive a flat no – you won’t be dismayed, but annoyed with yourself for not asking two others. Next time, you’ll remember.