I’ve noticed a pattern among people. We fail to perform at our peak when we are tired or hungry. Tired and hungry…talk about a total disaster waiting to happen. But when someone is less than rocking it at life, there’s an amazingly simple way to help.
Just be there for someone.
My 2 ½ year old is perfectly capable of dressing and undressing herself. But whenever she is in what we call a “Maslow” state -missing one or more of her basic needs to function like her normal, happy self- (e.g. hungry or tired), clothes seem to stick to her body relentlessly and a tear-filled meltdown is nearly inevitable.
One night, “Maslow” had set in and the pajamas just weren’t going on. My daughter cried out in desperation, “I NEED HELP!” I bent down, simply touched the fabric and told her, “You can do it. I’m here, it’s okay. Keep going.” Sure enough, she solved her own problem in under 5 seconds. I literally did nothing to help her with her pj’s, but having the sense of support, she felt comforted, calmed and empowered enough to resolve her own challenge.
How often do people underperform simply because they feel unsupported? Our world is filled with so many individuals, groups and societies who, not at all to say they are unproductive, but who struggle and can’t reach their potential because they lack the basic needs to be able to focus and perform at their highest ability. Food scarcity, hunger, exhaustion, lack of safety, financial hardship, loneliness, and the lack of stable housing are all very real challenges hundreds of millions of people face all over the world. They are refugees crossing the globe to seek shelter and neighbors on your own street looking for a friend.
We all need support from time to time. Some of it is physical or monetary and often it is just letting someone know you are showing up for them. Sometimes it’s as simple as a chalk message on the sidewalk or a phone call.
Who can you show up for today?