All of us are raised differently, in different environments of different cites, by different families of different cultures. When we grow up, we all have different abilities and different levels of independence. Even though we are different people in different places, many of us are provided with the same tools and lessons to become independent, contributing, even successful members of our community.

Ever notice, though, that two children raised by the same parents can be so totally different? A perfect example of this is a family I know who had a son, Rob, and a daughter, Tracy. Rob was two years older than Tracy. Their parents had given them both the same amount of love, rules, guidance, and discipline.

Now, Rob turned 18 and couldn’t wait to get out of the house and be on his own. He never had enjoyed school, so he chose not to continue his education, and picked up odd jobs for cash. Tracy, however, had worked part-time through high school, had a savings account, graduated and went to college to get a degree in business.

After a few months, Rob still didn’t have any steady employment. He spent his free time tinkering with his friends’ cars – he had a gift for working with engines and loved to dive in and get his hands dirty exploring how they worked. During this time, it was common for Rob to go back home to his parents and ask for a hand – a few dollars here and there to make ends meet. He never changed his lifestyle or career, and wouldn’t consider enrolling in vocational classes. Meanwhile, Tracy was doing well in school, still working part-time, and was very determined to be independent.

Rob’s parents soon became tired of his frequent, almost routine, requests for help. They realized that it was up to them to force him to become responsible. Although they would always be there to give him advice and guidance, they were no longer willing to be his safety net.

One day, Rob walked in the door, and said, “Hey, Mom, can you give me a hand with my rent this month?”. He was very surprised when his mom sat him down and said, “Rob, I do realize that you need a hand. But the helping hand you’re looking for is at the end of your own arm”.

Disappointed and disillusioned, Rob was left with no money help outside of that comment. He spent a while looking at his hands, and suddenly realized that he did have the tools to succeed. All he had to do was use them.

He got a job as a helper at a local mechanic shop, retrieving parts and sweeping floors, and occasionally doing oil changes. With his boss’ encouragement, Rob decided to enroll in automotive courses and found that he enjoyed them and was actually very good at it. He spent his time at work learning skills of the trade from the experienced mechanics, and hoped that someday he could be as good as they were.

Today, Rob is the successful owner of own chain of automotive repair shops and tells his employees that they all have access to the tools necessary to succeed.

We all need a little help now and then, but sometimes all we need is a reminder that the help we need has been there all along. We just have to use it.

Where’s your helping hand?

Gregory Scott Reid, #1 best selling author The Millionaire Mentor, Positive Impact, and co-author Wake up…Live the life you Love