Monday, July 29, 2013

Ask for What You Want

Synchronicity is an amazing thing. At a moment that I was really appreciating the power we have over our own lives if we are willing to take risks, ask for what we want, and work hard, I was sent several things that confirmed this for me. Ralph Marston once wrote the following in his wonderful "Daily Motivator" series:

"The world around you is whatever you sincerely ask of it. Your life is precisely what you ask of it, with your thoughts, your actions and your attitude. . . The value you look for, and the value you expect, is the value you will find. What you decide to make of anything will ultimately define for you what it is. What you truly expect to see, you will most certainly see. The way you genuinely expect to live is the way your life will surely proceed. When you know without the slightest doubt that it will happen, it will happen. ."

I am not saying that we have a secret genie in a bottle and that we can merely speak our wish and have it so. I am saying that there is great power in intention. Having the courage to put ourselves out there and say, "this is what I will have" is a powerful thing. When we do this, it creates a new reality for us. That is, one in which having that thing, job, event, person, etc. can and will happen. As a result, our vision and thinking shifts.

Have you ever bought a car and then suddenly you see that car everywhere? Or you learn a new word and everything you read suddenly has that word in it? That is what asking for what we want does for us - it shows us where to find it. It makes us pay attention to things we would have never notice except for our intention. It helps us strike up conversations with the right people, and see signs we would have otherwise ignored.

I know that many of you know that I got my first book deal for a reference book on painting at a time when I'd yet to publish a single design. I had done a lot of writing online, but had published very little else. I didn't know anyone at the publisher. I didn't even know how to go about getting a book deal.

What I started to do was to tell everyone I knew that I wanted to write this book and ask them if they knew anyone at the publisher. I got a book on writing a proposal. I worked as though it was going to happen. On the day I was set to mail off a proposal to my publisher, I got a call. It was an editor from that publishing house and they were looking for someone to write a reference book on painting. They'd heard my name from a couple of the people I had told of my intention. Because I'd been writing the proposal, outline, etc. when she called I was able to give her all the information she needed and substantially build my credibility with the Editor.

For a while, I combined my my "art" and "writing" journals into a single entity. To do this, I started the book from both sides (upside down from one another) and the "back" side includes things like my goals, deadlines, resume, etc. Part of what I write in the back is my "intention" list. I break it down by "career", "personal,", etc. This has lead to some amazing things for me.

For example, at one point (years ago) I had decided to look into adoption. My first step was to go online to the county website about adoption. I made at least 20 phone calls, and spent hours online trying to find information on how to get started in the program. Phone calls weren't returned, I was cut off when I was being transferred to talk to someone else, etc. It was an exercise in frustration.

At the same time, I had gotten to know a couple of local artists in the area. On a whim, I invited them up to my studio to play and make art and it turns out that two of them work for County Child Protective services. They gave me the exact department I needed to talk to and answered most of my questions. I made one call and got the information mailed out to me to go to the first meeting and get started.

That is the power of asking for what you want. You ask, and then you start working towards it. Even when you seem to hit a wall, you keep working because just the power of your belief (and prayer) will make things happen for you. The difference between those living their dreams and those who are not is usually not talent or "who you know" or any of the things such good luck is usually "blamed". It is tenacity in the face of frustration. It is a belief that you can because you can see it, feel it, and almost touch what it would be like to have that thing come true. That is what keeps you going.

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