This week’s blog was inspired from a post on
Margie Warrell. I always loved Dr. Seuss, and I always understood that he knew what he was talking about when he wrote, “I meant what I said, and
Both Margie and I continued to be shocked that adults, often women, frequently make arbitrary requests with either an ambiguous time frame or no time frame at all — and are surprised when no real consequences are achieved. As people it is our right to say what we need, when we need it and how we need it done. This clarity not only benefits the asker, but also spares the recipient the task and time of being an ineffective mind reader.
While no one request is guaranteed to change the course of your career, business, relationship or life, any single request can. Requests have the potential to make a profound difference to the quality of your life and your ability to achieve the success you want. Sure, just because you ask for something doesn’t guarantee that you will get it. But not asking does guarantee you won’t! Would you really prefer the certainty of having your needs unmet over the possibility of having them met? Surely not!
Two Ingredients of a Powerful Request
For a request to hold any water it needs to specify not just a “what” (what you would like to have occur that presently isn’t), but also a “when” (by when it needs to happen). These are the “conditions of satisfaction” by which you and others can assess whether a commitment has been properly fulfilled. Asking for something to be done “soon” or “when you have time” leaves the door wide open for unmet expectations, frustration and disappointment. It also doesn’t allow you to hold people accountable when they fail to do what you wanted.
You Get What You Tolerate!
It’s a rule of life that you get what you tolerate – whether in your relationships, your career or your life. Making more and better requests will go a long way toward eliminating the “tolerations” in your life. It may be making a request of your husband or children to take on an extra responsibility on the home front; your boss, partner or colleague to change the way they are communicating with you on projects; your employee to honor an existing commitment or even of your cleaning lady to stop hiding the remote control in obscure places!
Complaining about your problems never solves them; whining about unmet needs never fulfills them. People aren’t mind readers and assuming others should automatically know what you want or need is a surefire recipe for resentment.
Harness the Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction states that what we focus on expands. When you focus on what you want (fulfilled needs and a rich joy-filled life) as distinct from what you don’t want (unfulfilled needs and a life filled with “tolerations”) and then take the actions to get it (e.g., make requests) your life can only change for the better. So as you get on with the rest of your day, I invite you to think about what requests you could be making that you aren’t and then, start making them. Don’t water down what you really want in order to minimize the possibility of being turned down. Rather be bold and ask for what you would ideally absolutely really and truly looooooove to have happen. If, in the end, you have to negotiate and you end up with not quite what you wanted, you’re still better off than before. At a minimum, you create a new context in the ensuing conversation, and even if it’s an outright “no” that comes back your way, at least now you know where things stand and can move on, plan and make changes accordingly.
Don’t Sell Out on Yourself: Ask for What You Really Want!
If you have big dreams that are inspiring you and big goals that are stretching you (which I sure hope you do!), then you need to get into the practice of making more, bigger, better and bolder requests! Asking less from yourself, from others and from life than you really want doesn’t serve anyone. Take responsibility for your experience of life and make the decision, starting right now, not to let another hour pass you by settling for your needs going unmet, your frustrations running unfettered and your life passing uncherished.
Life’s too short!
You are capable of more than you think — including making bolder requests than you’ve made up ’til now. Don’t believe me? Then allow me to request that you try … starting today!
I would love to hear your thoughts on Margie’s suggestions. More importantly, tomorrow, I would love for you to share a new experience that had you saying what you meant and meaning what you say.