June 16th 2015 - Everyone wants to get what they want most of the time, even if they won’t always admit it. It seems somehow selfish or not being a good team player to put your wishes out front, but if you don’t put forth what it is that you’d like, how will others know what’s on your mind? This doesn’t mean demanding your way all the time (requesting is not the same as demanding), but most people would agree that they are responsible for creating their own happiness. Since none of us has a fairy godmother, at least that we know of, the best way to get what you want is to ask for it and to accept it graciously when it comes.
The other evening I was standing I my driveway in front of the open back door of my station wagon staring at the mounds of sod that were piled inside. I wanted to patch some holes in the lawn that my dog had made and knew that I could place the pieces fairly easily if I could just get them out of the car and to the general vicinity of the lawn. As I stood there, hands on hips, anticipating the heavy, messy work ahead of me and wondering how I was going to accomplish it, my neighbor walked by with his dog. He’s a doctor, and he seemed to have just come from the office because he was still wearing a starched white shirt and nicely tailored slacks. We exchanged hellos as he walked past. A minute later he circled back. “Is there something I can help you with?” he asked. “Oh no,” I replied. “I’ve just got a trunk full of sod and I’m trying to figure out the best way to get it over there,” I said, pointing to the dirt patches a few yards away. “I can help you with that” he offered. “That’s OK,” I said. “I don’t want you to get all dirty.” “It’s fine,” he answered and after thinking about it for a second I decided to let him help me. My husband had a meeting that evening and if I didn’t get the sod out of my car and onto the ground that night, I was going to have a damp, smelly car and dry, half-dead sod. Also, my mother had taught me that sometimes it is just as nice to let someone do something for you as it is to do something nice for them. I don’t know my neighbor well. In fact, I don’t even know his name, but it seemed in that moment like it would have been rude to refuse his offer.
It turns out that my neighbor has much better-upper body strength that I do and he didn’t need to hold the heavy rolls against his body as I would have in order to lift them and place them on the ground. In a matter of minutes he had all 10 rolls of sod out and the only thing that got dirty was his hands. I thanked him and offered to let him come in and wash up, but he said he’d be fine and took back the leash of his dog, which I’d been holding while he worked. “Lets go honey” he said to the dog and they continued on their walk. I was truly grateful for the help and I have to add that I have an extra soft spot in my heart for people who not only gladly offer assistance to their neighbors, but also speak to their pets as they would a beloved child.
Twenty minutes later the sod was all cut and laid and the job was over. If I hadn’t let him help me, who knows how long it would’ve taken? We both got what we wanted. I needed assistance and he genuinely wanted to provide it. It reminded me that the first step towards getting what you want is to ask for it, or in this case, to allow someone to give you what you want. Sometimes pride, misplaced notions of self-reliance or embarrassment keep us from accepting the help we desire in getting what we want. I guess the real question is, “Do you want to play games, or do you want to get what you’re after?” It’s a great feeling to get what you want so the following are six steps to help you get more of what you want more often:
1. Ask for what you want and give a timeline (by when). Some people seem to believe that other people should read their minds and know what they want, but you’ll get a lot further if you ask directly. If you are specific about when you’d like it, you’ll do even better.
2. Realize that requests are not the same as demands. If you get upset when someone tells you “no” you haven’t made a request; you’ve made a demand. Some things are worth demanding, but you’ll get a lot further when most of what you ask for is a request and you can accept any answer. It’s alright to be disappointed at a negative response, but keep in mind that there are other ways to go after what you want and that pouting is never attractive.
3. Be open to yes, no, a modification, qualifier or maybe a response at another time. True requests allow for a variety of answers. Perhaps a modification or counteroffer is needed in order to get agreement. Can the request be fulfilled at another time? “Maybe” is not really a good response because it is too ambiguous. If someone needs time to think, ask them when they can give you an answer.
4. Ask cleanly and clearly. When you ask for what you want succinctly and in a straightforward way, it is easy for the listener to know what you are saying and that you are serious about your request. If you say, “Well, I don’t know how you’d feel about this...” or “Whatever you want is fine,” when you really have something specific in mind, you are less likely to have the outcome that you desire.
5. Keep asking - the same person or someone else. This doesn’t mean to badger someone until they are so sick of you that they finally cave in. What this means is that sometimes people are more responsive when they’ve had time to consider a request or perhaps you can get what you want by asking someone else.
6. Say “thanks” and be genuinely appreciative. When people know that you truly appreciate them granting your requests it goes along way toward getting the next one green-lighted as well. No one wants to feel taken for granted.
Getting what you want feels great and so does helping others to get what they want as well. My sod is greening up nicely and now my nice neighbor, when he walks his dog, doesn’t have to pass a yard that looks as if it were the wallow for a water-buffalo. It’s a win-win all around.
Laura Luykx completed a life coach training program certified by the International Coach Federation. She studied with Dave Ellis of Breakthrough Enterprises in the Falling Awake model of coaching and has been coaching since 2006. Her style is very non-directive and is intended to assist the client to discover what will make them happy and fulfilled today and in the long range future. As you fill yourself to overflowing you are in the best position to give yourself to others.
In 2012 Laura completed a shamanic apprenticeship with contemporary shaman, Robin Rice and now offers shamanic soul work in conjunction with coaching. She has lived in Winston-Salem, North Carolina since 1999 with her husband and son. Laura is an avid reader, tai chi student and cook. She loves animals and has three cats and two dogs. Contact her for a FREE consultation at (336)416-0606 or send an email. Visit the website at greatdoor.net.
GreatDoor Shamanic Soul Work and Coaching
Frisco, Texas 75034