Personal Support

We all need somebody to lean on

Bill Withers

If you own or use a product more sophisticated than a pencil, you’ve probably have had the misfortune of dealing with customer support. Customer support is a wonderful sounding phrase that rarely delivers on its promise. The reason? The support specialist on the other end is trying to help you, not support you.

At this point it’s natural to wonder, what’s the distinction between support and help? Is it a help desk or a support desk? We’ll get to that point later. But first, realize that companies often prioritize efficiency over satisfaction. They want to get your problem solved as quickly as possible even if it leaves you in mental tatters.

The prevalent support meme involves electronics: “Have you tried turning it on and off?” I’m convinced that this is practically embossed on the cover of every single training manual. Helping the customer often involves telling them what they need to do, instead of meeting them where they are. This is not support. Support is an upgraded form of help that involves additional steps of listening and understanding before trying to render assistance.

In yoga, there’s an asana called half-moon pose, or Ardha Chandrasana. It’s a pose that requires balance, strength, and focus. For those of you who are curious about how to get into this pose, I’ll describe it via prose:

Stand up erect, both feet firmly planted on the ground, hip-width apart. Hinge forward at the waist as you send your left leg behind you. Keep one strong straight line from your left-ankle to head as you bring your chest parallel to the floor. Once there, extend your arms straight out to either side, palms down just like airplane wings. Engage your obliques and rotate your chest towards the left so that your left fingertips graze the sky and your right fingertips hover above the ground.

This is one of the poses synonymous with yoga and those who have never practiced before will struggle. They’ll need to find balance on one foot, the strength to parallel their body against gravity, and finally the focus to hold. What’s needed to master this asana is support.

Insert block under hand

The easiest support to have is to insert a block right underneath your hand. This allows you to focus on the aspects most important to you. That could be steadying your gaze skyward, or increasing the duration of the pose. Strangely enough, a lot of people are averse to using a prop. Please swallow your pride, it’s okay to ask for support.

Prior to the invention of shoes, humans had to walk around barefoot. They could only get as far as the environment would allow them. Over fields of grass and dirt that would probably be miles. Snow and dessert sand? Probably mere feet. To solve this, being the clever species we are, we invented shoes.

Shoes enable us to walk further distances in a shorter amount of time with less fatigue. It’s irrefutable that you’d be able to make it from point A to point B without them, but it’d be so much more enjoyable and less painful with them. Nobody, except for a strange handful of folk, seems to think that we’re better off without shoes.

The point I really want to drive home is that asking for support is okay – for no one can fill those of your needs that you won’t let show. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to make it on your own. It’s not an admission of weakness. It’s simply a realization that you can get where you want to a lot faster with assistance than without. Once you’re there, that’s when the real magic happens.

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