How to Get What You Want: Take This Challenge!

Do you ever feel like the world doesn’t want to give you what you want? Do you wish you knew how to get what you want in almost any situation?

Take this challenge and learn how to get what you want!

I’m here to tell you that the reason why you don’t get what you want is that you hold the key mistaken belief that the universe doesn’t want to give you what you want.

Fortunately, you aren’t alone in this mistaken belief. In fact, it’s the plague of many who work in sales, donation solicitation, and who struggle with the art of persuasion. Here’s how to overcome this idea and start getting what you want!

The Parable of the Jack

When you’re trying to get what you want, do you set yourself up with a mindset for success or failure?

To illustrate this point, I want to share the jack story initially told by comedian Danny Thomas. This story is a perfect example of how we get in the way with our mindset.

A traveling salesman is driving around on a desolate back road one night when he hears a thump. He realizes he, unfortunately, has a blown a tire. He gets out, gets in the trunk, and checks for a jack—but there’s nothing there.

He sighs to himself and decides he’s going to need to go on foot to the service station he passed a few miles back. Frustrated and tired, he starts walking down the road. As he walks, along his feet hurt, he’s annoyed with himself, and he starts talking to himself about the situation.

“I can’t believe this has happened! How much is this guy going to charge me for a jack rental at the service station? A couple of bucks?”

But then he thinks about it, “Well, it’s pretty late, so he’s probably going to charge me a fee because it’s after-hours. So, what, now I’m looking at $10? $15? You know, he’s probably like my brother-in-law—out to squeeze an extra buck out of any situation. He’ll know I have nowhere else to go for the jack. He’ll probably try to swindle me because I’m at his mercy. I’ll bet he’s going to charge me $20!”

As he walks along, he’s more and more frustrated. “I can’t believe this guy’s going to rip me off. That’s the trouble with car problems—those repair guys will always push you for an extra buck. I bet the guys a total jerk. Out here in the middle of nowhere, he’ll probably do anything to milk another dollar off a stranger!”

Finally, he gets to the service station. He opens the door, and as the bell chimes, the owner behind the counter smiles and nods. “What can I do for you tonight, buddy?”

The salesman looks at him with disgust. “You have some nerve! Take your stinking jack and shove it!”

As you can see, there’s a lot of truth in this humorous parable. How many of us end up getting in our own way with negative self-talk and mistaken beliefs? We may tell ourselves a whole scenario in our heads before we ever reach the service station to ask for what we want. By the time we’ve worked up the situation, we know there’s NO WAY someone’s going to give us what we want. We set ourselves up for failure and get stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Getting What You Want: Ask!

When we’ve worked with people during the Year of More and in our sales and career programs, we often give out assignments. This is referred to as the assignment way of living—each day, taking on a new task that stretches us beyond our comfort zone and gets us to push past these limiting and mistaken beliefs.

In one assignment, our students need to go out, ask for, and get things. Our students often experience a great deal of fear and discomfort during these asks, but they go through it anyway. They’re amazed to discover people WANT to give them stuff.

It’s always delightful to watch students’ fear transition to fun and excitement as they carry out this activity. We’ve had students get free coffee, desserts, services, even refrigerators, and cars! It’s surprising to people because they carry this limiting belief that the world is a cruel and withholding place. They believe the world wants to get more than it gives. As they’re out there getting tangible and intangible things, they’re always amazed as this belief shifts.

The skill isn’t just to “get things” but to identify what you want, to ask for it, and to know how to establish a rapport with others.

One of the essential skills we teach our students is how to develop a high-quality rapport with others. It’s not only the ask, but the way you ask that makes an impact.

Start by identifying what it is you want. Now, of course, most of us want a lot of things. Not every item we want is going to bring us happiness and fulfillment. In fact, most items we think we want aren’t REALLY what we actually need in our lives.

That said, for this experiment, think of whatever you’d like. If you want a cup of coffee, challenge yourself. Go up to someone and ask if they would get you a cup of coffee. Don’t build it up in your mind (remember the parable of the jack). Don’t tell yourself, “they’ll probably think I’m a weirdo for asking this,” or, “they probably don’t like me and don’t want to answer my request.”

Instead, see what happens if you ask with the belief the world wants to give you what you want.

When you get your cup of coffee (or quarter, or a hug, or assistance carrying a bag…), keep the momentum going. What else can you get? Ask your coworkers for a favor. Ask someone to take you to lunch. Ask your waitress if you can get a piece of pie or a discount on your meal. Ask, ask, ask!

More importantly, believe the world is going to hear your request and say yes!

I’d love to hear how this challenge goes, so please comment or send us an email and let us know what happened when you decided to ask for what you wanted!

For more ways to get what you need from life, visit the Wright Foundation. Many of our courses are available online at Wright Now. Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to learn more about yourself and move toward a life of fulfillment and satisfaction.

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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Are Power Blockers Getting in Your Way?

Identifying power blockers and learning how to work through them will move you closer to what you want.

Are you getting in your own way? Identifying power blockers and learning how to work through them will move you closer to what you want.

You are alive (or you wouldn’t be reading this). Life flows through each of us freely and gives us power. It may flow through us effectively or ineffectively, but we are agents of our own lives.

We all want certain things in life. We have yearnings we wish to fulfill—deep, universal longings of our heart that move us closer to satisfaction.

Yet, there are many times when we stand in our own way. By identifying power blockers, we become aware of how we’re reacting to the world unconsciously, rather than consciously acting as agents of our lives.

Understanding the Common Power Blockers

As the Rolling Stones said, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you can get what you need.

Identifying our power blockers will help us get what we really need (which may or may not align with those things we think we want). But first, we must understand what power blockers are.

Think of the ways where we block our own way. How do you stand in the way of getting the life you want?

Falling into the Drama Triangle

One common way we give away our power is by taking the position of the victim. When you put yourself in the victim role, you’re choosing powerlessness. You are handing someone else the control and power over your situation.

In the drama triangle, there are three roles: the victim, the rescuer, and the persecutor. Those drawn to the drama triangle often alternate between the three positions. We see this in family dynamics, in situations within the workplace, and of course, within our day-to-day lives.

Each role within the triangle is passing on responsibility. The positions are reactive and destructive, moving us away from what we want, rather than toward what we want. Whether you’re passing off your responsibility as the victim, blaming or shaming as the persecutor, or swooping in as the rescuer to do work that’s not yours, you’re shifting the power.

The drama triangle is a negative pattern where we choose powerlessness over a situation, rather than empowering ourselves to change.

Choosing Blame, Shame, and Justification

Another way we hand off power is by blame, shame, and justification. We’ve all seen this phenomenon play out in our lives, whether it’s at the office or home. Blame, shame, and justification closely align with the drama triangle. Each time you take the role of victim, rescuer, or persecutor and choose to justify your behavior, blame it on others, or shame someone, you are choosing to stay stuck in your situation.

If we want empowerment, we look at any given situation and take responsibility. We walk in and ask, “What needs to change, to bring me the outcome, I desire?” and then we design and align the system to bring us what we want.

When you blame, you are giving away responsibility. Suddenly you are a victim of circumstance. You are powerless to change because everything is under someone else’s control.

Similarly, shaming yourself, beating yourself up, and feeling embarrassed keeps you stuck. When you walk out of a situation and go, “I’m such an idiot. I’m so humiliated!” You aren’t identifying how you could change the circumstances; you’re simply staying in a state where you have no control.

Justification has a similar effect. When we make excuses, rationalize, and defend ourselves, we’re only guaranteeing we won’t change (and will continue our behavior). Justification means we admit we made a mistake, but it’s okay. “It’s not really a mistake.” Thus, we’re doomed to repeat the pattern.

Power comes from learning and exhibiting a willingness to change. When we act on these power blockers, we’re handing off our ability to learn from our mistakes.

Stinking Thinking

Do you catch yourself thinking, “If only I…” or “She always…” or “I’m too…?” Stinking thinking appears as truth, but instead, it’s us giving validity to our limiting thoughts, excuses, and negative thinking patterns.

Stinking thinking is the opposite of powerful thinking. When we fall into these patterns, we reinforce this line of thinking, and it becomes habitual. When we get down and begin trading our positive thoughts for negative ones, we can’t experience insight.

In fact, we may even look to situations to reinforce the negative thinking and self-fulfilling prophecies we’re creating. We might fear someone’s reaction. We hesitate because we’re projecting their resistance. We assume they’re going to act a certain way before it even happens. By going in with the assumption, we operate in such a way that we elicit exactly the response we fear.

We walk into the room and notice someone looks unhappy. We immediately assume it’s something we did. We begin on the defensive. We’re already assuming the worst.

Power Blockers and Limiting Beliefs

There are many different ways to work around our power blockers. It begins by identifying these power zappers before we act on them. When we identify power blockers, we shift our thinking in a more empowered direction.

There are a lot of different ways around our power blockers. But first, we must recognize them. They have to do with limiting beliefs. These mistaken and limiting beliefs are formed in our early attachment experiences and create our view about ourselves and the world around us. These beliefs limit our manifestation of personal power, spawn stinking thinking, suck us into the drama triangle, and move us to blame, shame, and justification.

When we act on our mistaken beliefs, we are unconsciously reacting to the world around us, rather than consciously creating the life we want. When we notice ourselves relying on power blockers, a little alarm should go off in our head. We’re handing off our personal power.

Power blockers are always an instance of “me getting in my own way.” I know when I experience them, I almost always track them back to a limiting belief. On our website, you’ll find a Stinking Thinking template that will help you take apart how you get in your own way.

When we shift our thinking from believing the world is self-centered and will only give us one unit of benefit from every ten units we offer, we start to give too much and expect too little. Instead, we can shift our thinking to realize the world has infinite amounts to give us. We can get what we want and what we need, as long as we stop standing in our own way.

For more ways to find empowerment, please visit the Wright Foundation. Many of our courses are available online at Wright Now. Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to learn more about yourself and move toward a life of fulfillment and satisfaction.

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Featured image via RawPixel.

How to Engage with Others and Build Lasting Connections

How do we build stronger, lasting connections with people? People come and go in our lives, but here’s how to make deeper connections.

Learn how to build lasting relationships and connect with others.

I have a good friend who’s a Presbyterian leader. He and I barely ever get together, but those times when we do, our conversations are always energizing and exciting because we’ve built a lasting connection.

Many of us have friends we rarely see, but when we do, we share a bond. Maybe you have a great deal in common, or perhaps you share one significant commonality but are otherwise quite different. These people come and go in our lives, but they’re important. You may value the relationship even though you don’t hang out regularly.

Years ago, we would keep in touch with occasional letters, a get-together when we were in town, or perhaps a lunch once in a while. These days, we’re probably connected on Facebook, LinkedIn, or another spot on social media.

But are these relationships really lasting? How do we foster our important relationships and turn them into lasting connections?

Sharing Common Ideals

My Presbyterian friend and I click because we share common ideals. I met him when I was hoping to get him interested in our transformational leadership program. He came to lunch with me, grilled me on theology, and we instantly got into higher-purpose discussions.

Not only did I pass his substance test in leadership after our conversation, but we found out we connected around theology and a general higher purpose. Ever since then, he and I cross paths whenever we find an opportunity. I often introduce him to people he might want to network with, and he will do the same for me.

Now, the truth is, he and I aren’t best friends. In fact, we barely ever get together. But when we do, those times are about a higher purpose. He’s busy with his life, and I’m busy with mine, but we have a lasting relationship and connection.

Building lasting connections with others isn’t about friendship for the sake of adding another number to your “friends list” on social media. If we want to build relationships that nourish us, we need to find how we align with others.

Not every relationship fits in the category of “lasting connection” either. We may know many people who we grew up with, shared college experiences, or jobs with. Those people are more of our everyday acquaintances. We may click and share commonalities (especially when our experiences intersect), but we may not share a deep, lifelong bond or a lasting connection.

Research tells us there are many reasons to cultivate relationships in our lives at all levels and in all circles. When people speak to a stranger on the train, for example, they report having a better experience on their commute. When we build up our connections with the people we pass on a day-to-day basis, like the barista at our local coffee shop, the doorman in our building, or the waiter at our favorite lunch spot, the connections can lead to eventual friendship. These lose social connections are essential to our wellbeing (and may turn into stronger ties down the road).

Craving a Lasting Connection

You may think, “Well, that’s great. I interact with a lot of people regularly, but I don’t have a lot of deeper friendships or close relationships.” The question then becomes: what are you doing to develop lasting relationships with others?

If you want to build more lasting connections than you’re developing now, it’s a lot easier if you align your life to a higher purpose. As you discover your sense of purpose, you will naturally attract and draw in others who share your ideals.

Most of us are very reason-oriented in getting together with others, even socially. We need to gather for an event, a seminar, a meeting, a dinner date.  Did you raise your kids together? Are you neighbors? Do the kids play hockey together? When your kids finish hockey, your lasting connection depends on what you shared while you were sitting in the stands, watching your kids on the ice.

You’ll often hear of businesspeople who want to build a lasting connection with a potential client. So what do they do? They take them to a nice dinner or a social event. They spend time with them and get to know them.

It calls back to a scene in the film, “The Big Kahuna” with Danny DeVito. In the movie, DeVito’s character, a businessman, is discussing a missed opportunity with his young protégé. He tells him the man who they missed (the “big kahuna”) was a very good friend of his.

“Is it because I’ve known him for a long time? Well, there are many people I’ve known for a very long time.” He explains that most of them he doesn’t trust, or he could take or leave because they don’t matter to him. “But Larry,” he explains, “matters very much. The reason being, I can trust him. I know I can trust him. He’s honest.”

His colleague asks if he’s honest or just blunt. DeVito’s character goes on to explain, “There are a lot of people who are blunt but not honest, but Larry isn’t one of those. Larry is an honest man.” He explains it doesn’t matter what you’re preaching or selling. “If you want to talk to someone honestly as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are, just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it’s not a conversation anymore, it’s a pitch. And you’re not a human being; you’re a marketing rep.”

He goes on to say honesty is born of character and making mistakes. If you don’t have regrets, you can’t have character. “It’s when you see the folly in something you’ve done, and you wish you could do it over, but you know you can’t because it’s too late. So you pick that thing up, and you carry it with you to remind you that life goes on. The world will spin without you. It really doesn’t matter in the end. Then you’ll attain character because honesty will reach out from the inside and tattoo itself on your face.”

This is a great monologue; I highly recommend checking out the whole film. There’s a powerful message there. So many of us want deeper engagement. We crave lasting connections with others, but we’re afraid to put ourselves out there. We’re afraid to be honest and share with others because we don’t allow ourselves the vulnerability of getting personal.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Personal

There’s a basic skill to how deeply you connect when you meet people. Some people hesitate or feel self-conscious. You might worry about what the other person thinks of you. You might be entrenched in the social norms and mores you were raised with. Perhaps you aren’t comfortable talking to strangers; you worry you’re too much, or not enough.

When we hold back, it’s often an indication there’s something within we need to work on. Explore where your fear is stemming and why you’re afraid. Challenge yourself to test the waters. What if you strike up a new conversation with someone in the elevator? So it feels awkward at first. So what? If you want to build a lasting connection with others, it begins with a conversation.

If you really want to connect with new people, find out what matters to them. What matters to you? Share that information. Can you find a way to contribute to their lives? Where does the Venn diagram of your purpose align?

In a professional setting, you might feel like you can’t connect completely because talking about your purpose feels too personal, but the truth is people are people. We all have yearnings and beliefs. We all have a purpose. Even in a business setting, businesspeople are just that—people.

You might not immediately share your purpose with others, but you can find out what they’re about and how they think about what they do. What is the big why that drives them? Is it a career? A church? A committee or board they serve?

As Danny DeVito’s character said in the film, you must earn the right to ask others what their big why is with authenticity and honesty. You earn the right to connect with others by being interested in them as people first and foremost. As you express your interest, the substance begins to develop in your relationship, and you earn the right to ask about their bigger whys.

It’s by this openness and honesty we develop durable relationships and build lasting connections. Whether you see each other occasionally or all the time, you will forge a lifelong bond if you connect over the higher purpose that drives you.

For more ways to build greater connections, visit us at the Wright Foundation. Don’t miss our upcoming networking opportunities where you’ll connect with others on their transformational journey. Start living your best life today!

Dr. Bob Wright

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.