Good Morning lovely readers! Spring is here which means it’s time for some Spring cleaning and new beginnings. Today, I’m going to write about the art of getting what you want. Please know that there are numerous books on this topic and I encourage you to read them!
The greatest book I’ve read so far on this topic is called How to Win Friends and Influence People, an all-time best seller. It was published in 1936 which makes it even more interesting to read. The author, Dale Carnegie, actually met several influential presidents and he’s included lessons from his interviews with them in this book. Among those presidents are Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Several other leaders from our history are also quoted. This book is amazing, an absolute must read!
So, yes, there is an art to getting what you want and no, it isn’t manipulative or dishonest. Think about someone you know that’s always struggling. No matter what they are struggling with, does it seem like every time you talk to this person they are negative? Always complaining? Sad or just generally unhappy? Now think of the opposite. The person that seems to have it all figured out; happy and positive. What do you think the difference between the two of these people is?
Maybe the first person comes from a family that isn’t as privileged as the second; maybe the first person isn’t as attractive or maybe they just can’t seem to meet the right person. Truth be told, there is no difference between the first person and the second. Privileged or “lucky” people still get their fair share of crap, the difference is in how they handle it. The first art you must master to get what you want in life is confidence and a positive attitude. I won’t lie and say that privilege hasn’t landed a fair share of people well above their counterparts, but I will say that absolutely anyone in this country can get what they want, some may just have to work a little harder than others. If you think of it that way, who’s really winning? Hard work builds character. It yields lessons, wisdom, friendships and more.
No matter what cards life has dealt you, you must be positive and confident in the pursuit of what you want. Not only does it make you stronger, it also attracts others to you. A positive attitude even when all seems lost can change your life! As I’ve said before, there is something positive in every situation, it’s just how well you can find it. Go boldly and confidently in the direction you choose, and you will have what you want! Confidence and a positive attitude are hard to come by for some, but practice self-love and you’re halfway there.
Another way to practice confidence is to open up to people. Develop your own morals and stick to them. Don’t ever let anyone dictate how you treat them. Yes, I said that. How someone treats you is their journey, you are to stick to your journey no matter what. For example, do you ever catch someone staring at you, maybe you’re in TJ Maxx and you look over and see another pretty girl staring you down. What do you do? Probably stare back or walk away. My suggestion is to smile at her. If she doesn’t smile back, that’s her journey, not yours. Smiling is contagious! Smiling makes you feel better and it attracts others to you.
Another stroke in the art to getting what you want is to listen. How many times in your daily conversations do you revert everything back to yourself? I know I do it because it’s really easy to do. I’ll never forget the time I was getting my nails done in a super busy salon and these two women, who apparently went to college together but hadn’t seen each other in many years, started conversing right behind me. It was painful to listen to them because all each woman did was talk about herself to the other. The conversation went something like this:
Woman 1: Well, I got married to a lawyer and we’ve got two kids! Little billy plays baseball and suzy is on the varsity cheerleading team and I’m just so proud!
Woman 2: Oh my! My daughter is a tennis player, I’m divorced but we do have a son in college at UGA, he’s going to be a doctor!
Woman 1: Yeah, John’s a lawyer and ya know I’m just so thankful because he’s really helped our family through some things, he’s just amazing.
Woman 2: Oh yeah, I totally get it, my son is my pride and joy. He has all A’s. I just can’t believe he’s so smart because I know I’m not!
Woman 1: Yes you’re so lucky because suzy is having trouble right now in math and I just don’t know what to do…
Do me a favor and read that conversation out loud. Can you hear how awful it sounds? Ya’ll think I’m making this up, but even the Asian guy doing my nails was annoyed. The lesson here is that woman 1 knows absolutely nothing about woman 2 because she was too busy thinking of what she was going to say and talking about herself. Do you think you’ll get what you want by doing this? To your husband? To your boss? Nope. No one makes an impact on others talking about themselves. Why? Because people like you for how good you make them feel about themselves. The kindest, most genuine people always ask you about yourself more than they talk about themselves. Actually listening to someone will make them feel very special, important and interesting. Thus, people automatically like you more when you’re interested in them. Not just following through the motions, you must actually listen and make eye contact. This lesson goes both ways, because as you’re actually listening, you’re learning. Remember, people are your greatest resource.
My personal tip: There are so many people from history I’d love to meet, but one is Amelia Earhart. She was so devoted and passionate! I would love to meet her so I could ask her questions and listen to her. To mimic this in everyday life, I try to imagine that everyone I meet is someone famous like Amelia Earhart.
This next one goes without saying, but you must work hard in order to get what you want. With relationships, your career, your hobbies- consistent hard work will prevail. It is important to remember that good things don’t just happen because you’re a good person, they happen because you work hard. One of the most profound quotes I’ve ever read was this:
“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” -F.M Alexander
Create a habit of devoting time and working hard on the things you want and you will have them.
In the art of getting what you want, it is important to stay humble and honest. No matter what level of success you achieve, treating others as equals matters more. No matter the level of success you achieve, never stop learning and growing. Always admit when you’re wrong and be honest. Develop a strong sense of moral character around these principles and you will become a person that achieves great things.
Lastly, to get what you want, simply ask for it. Easy-peasey! Oh, but this last little action is often the hardest to achieve. In my 30 years, I’ve met SO many people that have trouble asking for what they want; almost as if they don’t want to inconvenience others by doing so. Or maybe deep down, they don’t know they deserve it (confidence). In the end, they let the negative emotions that come with not asking pile so high that their whole lives are affected. It is an unavoidable fact that asking for what you want/need is absolutely necessary to getting it. If you’re choosing to remain too frightened to ask, don’t expect to ever get what you want. If you need your husband to focus more on helping you at home, be sweet and ask him. Don’t make it harder than it is, just ask. If you want a raise, ask for it. If you’re having trouble at work and hate it, ask your boss how you can improve so you can be happier. Be constructive. Those who love you and value you will respect your needs and wants and those who don’t wont.
Yes, Becky, it is that simple. It might be important for me to tell you, though, that if you haven’t been good to the people you’re asking, they might be reluctant to give you anything in return. This last action to getting what you want brings all the previous ones into focus. My advice is to concentrate on yourself first and then ask. People are much more likely to listen and understand if you don’t come at them with a negative attitude, no matter the situation.