Help me, help myself

“Am looking to take a health insurance policy for myself and the family. Any tips on which company is good or what to keep in mind, would be appreciated 🙏

I put this post out on FB and the replies came pouring in. The first step is to ask for help. The hands are always there.

I learnt that helping hands come in many shapes and forms. 

Within minutes of my post, my phone rang. Mohan, whom I had not spoken with in a while was calling. I wanted to do some online research on the topic, so I nearly did not pick up his call. It never occurred to me that he was calling about my ask for help.

Mohan used to work in insurance. After asking me a few questions, in under three minutes he summed up the situation. Gave me his suggestions and offered to put me in touch with an advisor. Who also promptly called me in minutes. Ten minutes after uploading my post, I had answers and a road ahead chalked out. 

Instant advice on the post itself was plentiful. Many friends and well-wishers offered their experiences. A healthy sample of experiences to help me navigate forward.

A WhatsApp message referencing my post popped up from Merrin. She is a whiz of a financial advisor and a wonderful wealth manager. I could not believe my luck, I would never have thought of troubling here with my little question. She sent me a detailed message outlining her thinking and inputs. Her time and advice is precious. #gratitude.

An offer to call Rupesh back and speak on the topic was on the table too. It took me a while longer to circle back and speak with him. It’s always a pleasure to talk with Rupesh. He has a unique way of looking at the world and his lens always helps with a fresh perspective. 

What struck me and stuck with me from this experience? There are so many ways and styles to help. It’s not just about having the core competence and the willingness. It’s also about how we offer to help and how open we are to different hands that are outstretched.

I need to be open to benefit and experience the full power of all the experienced people out there who are willing to help me.

If speed is important. Then Mr. Fastest finger first was the most valuable. 

If speaking in person was important. Then the calls win over the messages. 

If brevity works better, the immediate posts are perfect. 

If in depth personalised input matters then Ms. WhatsApp is perfect. 

If being available at my convenience and pace is the key, then Mr. Call me when you have the time, is a hands down winner.

In the end, what I learnt is that I need to embrace different ways of engaging. Be open to different points of view. Learn how to value the diversity of ways in which those helping hands were extended to me.

I was reminded of an important lesson related to mental health, in my search for health insurance. I need to stay away from jumping to judgement. I need to stay open to all the possibilities. Welcome different points of view and take the best of what people have to offer. Not get wrapped up in how they are offering the help. 

I caught myself just in time. I was at the edge of the judgment cliff, starting to think “Why did he call so fast, is there an angle I am missing…” on one hand and then jumping to “why couldn’t he call me, instead of asking me to call him… on the other. Judging the way people were offering their hand to me. Luckily I caught myself in time. Focused on the help at hand, not the way it was being offered.

It’s a change in mindset that helped me get so much help. If I was stuck in judging how others offered help and comparing it to “my way” I would have missed out on so much good will and good counsel. Communication and connection in our world does not always have to be instant or concurrent. In fact mental health is often about not being pressured to respond immediately or connect immediately.

There is no right advice and wrong advice. No right way to offer help. It was up to me to ask, when I knew I needed help. It’s also up to me to be open to receive. 

Don’t let your mind jump to judgments. Seek to see the positives and they shall appear. The best way to help yourself, is to help your mind see the possibilities. Stay open minded. Stay happy. Stay healthy.

P.S. All names of the happy helpers have been changed, I am grateful for all your helping hands. 


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Vice Chair of Weber Shandwick India. Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.
Nikhil is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF).
He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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