03/03/2013 09:38 am ET Updated May 03, 2013

Day 3: 31 Days of Daily Inspiration From Brilliant Women

Daily Inspiration: Day 3 of 31 Days

"If you hold your hand closed, no good can come in." -- Biddy Mason (philanthropist, 1818-1891)

These days we hear a lot about the power of the individual, the potential we all have to do anything. I believe this to be true. But sometimes we think we have to do it all alone, we forget to ask other people for support, we believe that reaching out our hands implies weakness and failure. Just the opposite it true. To be open takes great courage. To open your hands, your heart or your mind makes you brave indeed. You have to look people in the eye, you have to connect and allow yourself to be touched by the kindness, beauty and generosity of another person.

Of course it's easier to hide away from the world, to pretend you need nobody and nothing. You never have to risk your heart or your pride. You never need fear rejection or disappointment. You live it instead, you hold it inside; you wrap your arms tightly around yourself and lead a lonely life full of loss. No good will come in. But, if you can find the courage to connect, to ask people for assistance and advice, then the world will open up to you in turn and begin to shower its delights upon you.

For more by Menna van Praag, click here.

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