Ask and it will be given to you; Seek, and you will find; Knock, and the door will be opened to you. – Book of Matthew
How do you go about getting what you want in life and work?
Do have a plan of attack?
Or do you simply hope in a vague way that you’ll get what you want?
If you are going to actually get what you want, you’ll need to be deliberate in your approach.
And if you take a deliberate approach, you really can learn to get what you want.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten much better at getting what I want.
- I’ve gotten to be an Executive at some really cool companies
- I’ve gotten to start my own business focused on work that I love
- I’ve gotten to marry a woman that I love
I’ve found that getting what you want takes practice, and it takes a process. (It also helps to know what you want in the first place.)
Therefore, I’m going to introduce you to a process that has stood the test of time (and worked for me). You can practice using this process in your own life.
It’s called The Ask, Seek, and Knock Approach to getting what you want.
The Ask, Seek, and Knock Approach
This approach requires that you do three things:
Before we examine each individual component, let’s make a few observations of the process as a whole.
1. It’s an active process. Ask, seek, and knock are all action verbs. Getting what you want will require action on your part.
2. It’s a persistent process. It’s not enough to just ask or just seek or just knock. You’ll need to engage in all three activities – and more than once. Persistence is required.
3. It’s a creative process. Notice one approach is verbal, another is visual, and the third is physical. You’ll have to use a number of different modalities and be creative in your approach.
There’s no silver bullet tactic. Just a process that works.
People who get what they want are active, persistent, and creative. – Click to Tweet
If you know what you want, it does you no use to keep it to yourself. Instead, verbally express what you want by asking for help.
Let’s say that what you want is a more fulfilling way to make a living. Here are two ways to ask for what you want.
Ask God for help. If you’re the praying type, pray for more fulfilling work. If you’re not the praying type, ask the universe for it, or even just tell the wall.
Whatever your faith perspective, simply voicing your desire for something (like more fulfilling work) is a powerful act. In a sense, you are admitting to yourself and to the world that you do indeed have this desire.
That takes courage.
Once your desire is public, you’re opening yourself up to failure or even criticism. You’re also, though, opening yourself up to the possibility of getting what you want.
Ask a friend for help. Let a friend know that you’re looking for more fulfilling work. Ask your friend to hold you accountable to taking actions that will get you closer to work that you love.
External accountability and encouragement is a must if you’re going to persist and get what you want. Success is a team game.
Next, spend time looking for what you want.
Here are three things that you can do:
2. Look for mentors. Look for someone who is already doing work that they love and connect with her (or him) in person.
The fastest way to get what you want is to hang out with people who already have what you want. Hang out with them and learn from them.
3. Look for opportunities. Keep an eye out for opportunities to do work that you are more passionate about. Maybe it’s a new job opening or maybe it’s a training course that will offer you a new skill set.
Either way look to discover opportunities that will allow you to take concrete steps toward getting what you want.
Finally, take assertive action. When you hear a knock on the door, it’s always a little jarring – even if you are expecting someone.
To get what you want, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone, AND you have to tastefully push others as well. – Click to Tweet
Here are some ways to push yourself (and others) if you’re pursuing more meaningful work:
- Ask for a promotion (and a raise) to explore new opportunities at your current company.
- Ask for an opportunity to interview at a company that is interesting.
- Ask for an internship with a mentor or someone who is doing work that you are interested in.
What you really want
Clearly, I am a huge fan of being honest with what you want in your life and then pursuing those things.
That said, keep this in the back of your mind as you pursue your desires:
What we really want are not specific things, per se. What we really want are the feelings and experiences that those things represent.
For instance, readers of this site tend to be ultimately concerned about three things:
- The freedom that comes with building wealth.
- The passion that comes with doing work that you love.
- The joy that comes from generously serving others.
So get out there and get what you want. Just remember that it’s a means to an end.
Take your first step: Leave a comment that states one desire that you would like to become a reality in your life.