“Shyness is nice. And shyness can stop you. From doing all the things in life you’d like to.” ~The Smiths
I don’t know how your mobile phone carrier is but mine is notorious these days for having extremely awful service. I could barely get any signal from my house, which is especially bad when you conduct most of your business from home as I do. Luckily my wireless provider came up with a solution – Design a cellular signal booster that runs via modem and is created expressly for home use. Great idea! The downside? It costs an additional $150 for the machine. Eh, not awesome.
But then, this magical thing happened. I was on Twitter one day when someone asked about this gadget, essentially saying, “There’s a special deal but does this contraption really work?”
To which I replied, “Sure it works! My sister has one and she’s got full bars now. What’s this special deal? And where can I find the web link?”
The answer: “You get a free device if you renew your contract. There’s no link. I got a letter in the mail. I think they’re trying to retain customers.”
Super! Wait? But I didn’t I get a letter in the mail. And that’s the moment. Right here. Another delightful crossroad. To resign or to reclaim? You can probably guess which path I took. Yes, of course, I marched myself over to the nearest store location and flat-out asked. “What’s this I hear about a deal?”
Clearly, this promotion wasn’t publicized to every customer. “What did you hear, sir?”
“That I get a free signal booster if I renew my contract.”
A moment of hesitation and some internal calculation, but eventually yes, the manager relented. “Sure. OK, we’ll do that for you.”
Voila. Simple. The power of asking. No hard feelings. No hard bargains. No big deal. And now, I’ll never have to worry about dropped calls from my home ever again! Sometimes, all it takes is to arm yourself with a little intent – and the audacity to speak up.
Whereas some take a chance with the question, “What’s the worst that can happen?”, I like do one even better and ponder, “Hey, what’s the best that can happen?” Throughout the course of a lifetime, we are each given numerous opportunities to maximize on. And as the aphorism goes, Carpe Diem. Translation: “Seize the day!” Not, “Pity the day.” Or, “Make excuses for yourself today.” Or, “Blame the ‘system’ or my past or my bad luck for why I can’t catch a break today.” If I wanted to play safe, I could have just as easily said – as so many do with so many of their chances (not just those related to money), “Well, it looks like I just wasn’t chosen. I never got a special invitation in the mail.”
However, as I was once told by a wise Santera, sometimes gifts don’t arrive in pretty packaging. Special invitations don’t always look like special invitations. But that doesn’t excuse us from our obligation to respond to them. As I often say, luck is readiness meeting opportunity. And what better way to be mentally prepared than to maintain your sense of optimism AND your bias to action.
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