This is a story from 2014, while I was playing in Denmark and was also a part of the ‘coaching the coaches’ leadership program. There are many situations in our life where we struggle to get what we want.
This might be because we are either shy of asking people, or we feel that we do not deserve it. This feeling alone can make us feel that we do not have the guts or the charisma to be an outgoing person and ask the world for the things we believe we deserve.
Some of you might say, that all we have to do is be confident and believe in our abilities. Some of you might think we have to be more knowledgeable than others to be given the chance to even ask for what we want and need.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast by Noah Kagan, and he was talking about his coffee challenge. The challenge is that you have to go to a coffee shop, order a coffee and ask for a 10% discount.
If the person asks why, you either make something up or you say Shivam asked me to ask for a 10% discount, can I get a 10% discount please.
Now, you might scoff and say that it’s too easy. I have been into sales, presented in front of hundreds of people bla bla.
Just try it once.
You will stop seeing the world as you do now.
So, when I was in Denmark, we used to have a sports psychologist and our coach, Istvan Moldovan who by far is one of the most influential people in my own life.
Not only did I learn the basics of motivational psychology and performance enhancement from him, but also a huge lesson for my life.
He was in touch with one of the biggest table tennis brands and I asked him if he could get me a special table tennis blade while on his way to Denmark from Sweden. He said “of course Shivam, I will see what I can get”
He got me a new blade, and that day when we went for practice, I told my teammates that Istvan got me a new blade from Sweden.
They asked him: Why did Shivam get one and they did not.
Now what he said, has literally changed my life.
Marcus Aurelius in one of his meditations talks about learning, not becoming too stubborn in our lives.
“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
This has another lesson to it apart from seeking the truth.
It says that we must not become complacent.
So what is the relation of this to my story?
Alright, I will tell you.
To not become complacent in our lives, we must have the guts to openly ask for what we want and deserve.
Let’s go back to Denmark.
Istvan told the players that Shivam got a new blade because he asked for it.
And that showed me that getting what we want in life is easy. All we have to do is muster up the courage and ask for it.
Maybe you want to write a book, or become an entrepreneur or want a salary raise. Of course, there is planning and strategy involved.
But if we do not go ahead with the ask, the sale will never be made.
Grant Cardone, in one of his surprise sales test for one of his clients, noticed that more than half of the salespeople were never even asking the client to finalize the sale.
Since they were not asking for the sale, the sale simply wasn’t happening.
This lesson has stayed with me for the past 3 years, travelled with me to 5 different countries and is going to stay with me for another 50(at least).
The lesson summed up in a single word, and simplified?
That is the law of the universe.