You Only Need to Be One Step Ahead to Help

I am no personal development master nor any other type of master for that matter. My biggest skill is watching TV, but you hardly get awards for that. Honestly, that’s more of an obsession than anything.

You may wonder then, why do I write about self-improvement?

The answer is simple. Helping others is not about being an expert.

Don’t panic. That’s the truth. All the gurus out there have been lying to you for years.

While I don’t have every answer, I have kept myself alive for nearly 50 years, and I’ve done it even though I have bipolar disorder and a chronic illness.

My decades of trudging along on this earth taught me a thing or two. Those things could help others. So, I write them down. You have useful knowledge, too.

Man walking on a hiking trail.
Image by Hermann Traub from Pixabay

You Can Help

As an introvert, I struggle to be around people. Yet, I love to teach. I am nothing but a bowl full of contradictions.

It’s a special moment when the person you are training fully understands your lesson. When they realize they can repeat the process, you as a teacher get that warm and fuzzy feeling. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a schoolteacher. While that goal wasn’t achieved, there are still things I can teach.

My goal now is to write so as to offer insight to others.

The beautiful thing about helping others is that you don’t have to be an expert. No, instead, you only have to be a little further along than the person you’re assisting.


Hiking Lessons

Have you ever been hiking? When I was healthier, I loved to hike.

When you’re on a trail and especially when you’ve ventured off the trail – as I loved to do – you’re bound to find a stream or gully you have to cross.

Imagine you’re with a small group of hikers and come to a creek you’ve never crossed before. After reviewing the possibilities, one person takes the lead and begins to find a path forward.

With each step, the other hikers pay close attention to the leader. They notice when a rock is unstable or a spot is slippery. They learn where they should step next. The leader may even tell them, “Be sure you don’t step here.”

Has the leader suddenly become a hiking expert? Certainly not. However, the insight they gain from being the first one across makes them a valuable asset for those to follow. They may not know everything about hiking, but the new knowledge they’ve gained is of use to others.


Do you ever feel broken inside? Be sure to read Inspiration To Heal Your Broken Pieces.


What’s your creek?

We’re all proverbial hikers. We may not be on the same path or moving in the same direction at the same time, but we’re all wandering through this world.

As we make our journeys, there are many creeks and gullies to cross. Each time we successfully navigate one, that gives us something of value we can share with others.

My hiking days are limited now, but I have other lessons I can share. Those lessons keep me writing even though I’ll never be a master of anything.

Likewise, you are full of knowledge that can help others. You may have gotten married, divorced, lost a loved one, had children, quit a job, moved to a different country, and whatever else.

Each experience gives you insights that could help others.


Failure is Important, too

At the start of this story, you may have thought you’ve never been successful at anything. While that’s not true, this post isn’t about arguing that point. Whether you’ve succeeded or failed isn’t important today.

Why not?

Because your failures are valuable.

Let’s go back to our hiking group. If the first one to set out across the stream had stepped on a rock that was so unstable they lost their balance and tumbled into the stream, that fall might be a failure on their part. Yet, watching them fall teaches you not to step on the same rock.

Other failures in life can be just as valuable to those behind us.


What do you think are your failures?

Were you fired from a job? You can teach someone to be a better employee because you know what you did wrong. Did you cause a relationship to end? Knowing the mistake can help a friend protect their relationship. Were there times you got in trouble growing up? Knowing what things caused you to slip can help your kids to make better choices.

Each time you fail, the lesson you learn has value. That value is something that can and should be shared.

I’ve failed a lot, and it’s why I now have so many lessons in my head.


Are you a disaster right now? That’s okay. Read why in It’s Okay to be a Disaster.


One Step Ahead

Every step you take can teach those who will come after you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve climbed Mount Everest or a local ant hill. Your greatest expertise in this moment might be just knowing which rock to avoid.

Someone crossing a stream doesn’t care about how to get to the top of the mountain unless they are nearly there. Instead, they need to know where to place their foot right now. Is that next rock safe to step on? If you know, you can help.

Image by 畅 苏 from Pixabay

You are a Master

Yes, in a sense, you are a master. Your experiences taught you lessons others don’t know.

There is at least one person on a similar journey to the one you’ve been on. The only difference between your journeys is that you are a little farther along.

Be generous and take the time to share your wisdom with those behind you. You’ll be glad you did.

Keep fighting.


Never miss another post. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter.


You Only Need to Be One Step Ahead to Help - The knowledge you have now is enough to help others. Read how hiking relates to your life. | #SelfImprovement #PersonalDevelopment

Please share your thoughts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.