Someone recently recalled for me an interesting speech given by a successful screenwriter. He said earlier in life he’d attended top schools and eventually became a lawyer at a prestigious firm, but didn’t become a partner. This failure to make partner pushed him into a depression which lead him to seeking help from a shrink.
There was one piece of advice helped him more than anything else. Here’s the idea from the shrink that really helped him: “Life isn’t about going after one pearl. In a lifetime there’re many pearls to be had, all adding to a necklace rather than seeking just one prized pearl.” The failed lawyer said this piece of advice steered him in the direction to eventually become a very successful screenwriter. He had sought after and paid for help from an advice professional.
The advice he got helped to turn his life around. The chances of getting good advice from a shrink are high, after all they train for years and (we expect) they’re both smart and insightful.
But could the screenwriter have gotten similar, useful advice from a friend or colleague? Maybe. Did he ask for it? Probably not. People with good advice usually wait for someone to ask for help first – they know that unsolicited advice won’t be valued or used. I’m not at all against going to a shrink for help. Since you’re both asking and paying for it, the shrink will have your attention.
There’re situations in life that lend themselves to talk – a long train ride, an afternoon in a coffee shop, or maybe a morning walk in a park. These are examples of times in busy lives when people can talk long enough to present a problem and receive an answer. But help has to be asked for. By asking for help you’re placing yourself in a receptive position for advice.
If the advice rings true it could even be effective. Whether it’s bought or freely given, if the advice is good you’ll be glad that you asked for it.