First of all, let me preface this post with a disclaimer: I share this not to reveal a superhuman secret to success but rather as a reminder to always persevere. Therefore, I apologize if you were looking for a how to cure terminal illness or how to time travel but the “anything” I am referring to is any desire you deem physically attainable.
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming the first female president, going to space, saving the world. As I grew older, reality slapped me in the face, and I realized that my dreams were unrealistic because they were things that sounded cool but things I had no interest in perusing. So, I moved on, made new goals, and learned a lot about how to accomplish them.
In my (almost) two decades of life, I have had my own desires and goals, as well as my share of rejections and failures. Life is just like that—it pulls you down so you can pull yourself back up. So, how do you do actually pull yourself back up after you fail? How can you get anything you want? My answer is simple: Just ask!
Asking for what you want can never hurt if you do it right. Of course, the issue is that there can be a wrong way to ask or even act after asking correctly. There are three main components of my method to success.
- Make sure you are passionate about what it is you want to do. Action without interest is useless and it will get you nowhere.
- After you decided that you really want what it is you want, just ask. No matter what it is you want—whether it’s a position on a committee or a or a fruit snack from a friend—asking for it doesn’t hurt.
- If asking for what you want doesn’t satisfy your desire straight away, ask for how to attain it. There are many goals that cant be accomplished only by asking for it. However, asking people who have what you want or would know how to get it is extremely helpful.
Now that I’ve shared my method with you, you might be wondering, how does this look in practice and does it actually work?
My mother shared with me a story that really showed me the power of asking. She grew up in a city in Taiwan during the late 1900s. She moved to the United States after she met my father to settle down. Life was difficult and with the language barrier, it was hard to get a stable job. After the birth of her first daughter (me!), she had no choice but to go to grad school to establish a better life for us. Unfortunately, after months of studying and testing, her scores were not high enough for the university she wanted to attend. As the bills continued to pile up, she emailed the dean at the university asking if she had the possibility of being admitted if she retook the test. After a positive response, she studied and retook the exam. However, her score was still not high enough but she decided to submit it anyway, explaining her situation and expressing her desire to study at this institution. The day before classes began, the dean himself had emailed her saying that if she wanted to come, she could bring a laptop and tuition the next morning.
My mother’s perseverance and willingness to ask for help is something I look up to. I try to live by her style of hard work and it has already paid off. In middle school, I was very into the arts. I took art classes and music classes, and had won art competitions and had played in regional bands. However, I was terribly unathletic. Some of my friends were on the field hockey team and had encouraged me to try out. I decided to try out because yeah, why not try out and get out of my comfort zone? I had never played the sport before and have barely even exercised beyond the little we did in gym class. The middle school team was surprisingly competitive and I immediately knew that I was going to be cut. To my dismay, I was right. On the final day of tryouts, the coaches had informed me that I did not make the team. It was the first time I had truly been rejected, pushed down. Obviously, as a little insecure middle schooler, I went home devastated. That night, I emailed the coach and asked her what I could do to improve and if there was anything I could do to still be on the team. To my surprise, she emailed me back and told me I could come and practice anytime I wanted. I showed up on the first day of practice in my sporty outfit and sneakers. I forced myself to continue to attend the daily practices no matter how much it hurt and no matter how much I felt like I didn’t belong. About halfway through the season, after a month of standing by the sidelines while watching my peers play their hearts out in games, the coach put me in an actual game for the first time. I remember that moment so vividly. Being able to pick myself up after being pushed down that day, the day that became the first day of the rest of my life. For the rest of that season, I worked my butt off in every practice, ran as fast as I could, and played in all the games. At the end of the season, I even won an award for dedication! That rejection turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. I will forever be grateful for that opportunity my middle school field hockey coaches granted me because today, I am a whole new person who takes advantage of opportunities and can find them on my own, despite any limitations. Also, I have enjoyed playing the sport for four years and will continue to play next year.
These personal stories really show how today’s world is a world that values hard work and rewards perseverance. I now conclude with Winston Churchill’s wise words: “Never, never, never give up,” because with hard work and a little help, you can get anything you want.