One of my favorite family members, Cousin Betty, recently reminded me of how a lack of understanding robbed our grandmother of her sight. My 93-year-old grandma lost her vision to glaucoma several decades ago. Prior to that, this very proud, independent woman struggled to raise eight children, largely on her own. When she first began to experience the symptoms of glaucoma, she kept it to herself. By the time she finally admitted her problem to a doctor and her adult children, it was too late. With early detection her glaucoma could have been treated and her eyesight saved, but she did not know and worse, she did not make her difficulties known to others so that she could gain an understanding of her condition. By the time she was completely blind, my witty and feisty Grandma continued to demand that her eyeglasses be placed in her hand so that she could wear them. She felt that everyone did not need to know that she was blind.
In many ways Grandma was in denial of her situation. Instead of acknowledging the fact that her sight was slowly failing, and seeking help, she suffered in silence. It did not have to be that way. Are you in need of answers or insight regarding a health concern? Are you seeking a job (or a better job)? Are you having relationship difficulties? Asking questions, especially the right ones, can be one of your most beneficial assets, so don’t be shy.
Ask Your Doctor: Are you struggling with a nagging health concern that has been bothering you for months? Instead of torturing yourself with worry, make an appointment with your physician. Write out questions in advance, so you don’t forget. Studies show early detection and treatment of medical issues, provide the best opportunity for optimal recovery. Also, to stay in tip top shape, don’t neglect your annual examinations.
Ask Your Boss/Mentor: Instead of being frustrated at work after not getting the promotion- when you were clearly most qualified- go to your manager or trusted mentor and ask for feedback. Ask a question like, “What specific things will make me a strong candidate for the next advancement opportunity?
Ask Your Family; ask Yourself: Isn’t it amazing how our family and close friends can see things in us that we are unable, or unwilling to see? If you are in a place where you feel stuck, it may be time to ask for some candid feedback from one or two honest people in your life who really love you. You might ask, “What do you see as my greatest strengths? What do you feel may be my greatest opportunity for growth? What untapped potential do you see in me?” Sometimes you have to get very honest and have a conversation with yourself and ask, “Am I setting goals and making positive plans for my life?” “Are my current friends a help or a hindrance to my life?” “Do I need more education to fulfill my dreams?”
While it’s true that you may not find all the answers to the questions that you ask, just remember that knowledge is power. Read books, listen to CDs related to your interests and goals. Be wise. Gather information. Ask questions. These principles will place you on a successful path toward fulfilling your purpose in life. Lastly, ask God to show you how to apply the wisdom. Enjoy!
Marcia Humphrey is an interior decorator and home stager who specializes in achieving high style at low costs. A native of Michigan, she and her husband, Lonnie, have three children.