Jim Rohn and Anthony Robbins like to point out that when Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive,” that Jesus most likely meant “Ask intelligently.”
There are 3 points I’d like to share about how to ask intelligently for things. I learned these lessons that I’m about to share with you at a coin laundry that I used to go to on a regular basis called The Spin Cycle. I called it my temple because it was where I would go almost every night to meditate and write in my journal while doing our laundry. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would be the place where I learned some of the most important lessons in my life. I’m so excited to share these with you!!
Point #1: Know what to ask for, and why you are asking for it.
One night I decided to strike up a conversation with a man that would hang out at the coin laundry every night to stay warm because it was wintertime in Atlanta. I went out to my van to get a spare pen, and when I returned I offered him the pen and a blank page out of my journal. I told him that if he would just write down his goals in life, they would all come true.
“You don’t even have to take another look at it if you don’t want to. Just fold it up and keep it on you. By writing it down on paper you’re giving your dreams physical form, and they’ll take on a life of their own,” I told him. I was serious too. It’s hard to describe the look he gave me. He just looked at me, and after a moment shrugged me off saying loudly, “Pshhh!! ~ Man!!” and he walked out of the coin laundry mumbling something.
Maybe he preferred the freezing cold rather than have to sit down and think about and articulate his goals. What if he never even thought about what he really wanted out of life, and so he had no idea what to write. How many of us have a plan for our lives? For our business? For our future? Would you know what to write down if you were to sit down and make a list of life goals?
- “So many of us are willing to go out and die for the truth, yet so few of us are willing to sit down and figure out what our truth is.” Tony Robbins
Point # 2: Be considerate of others.
One night I stopped writing my journal entry – turned the page and began recording down in real time the scene happening beside me.
A man was laying down on a mechanical massage chair trying to relax, but a little boy was being so… annoying! It was very obvious that this boy, maybe around 6 or 7 years old, was not this man’s child by the way the man was reacting. The little boy would look into the man’s face and ears like he was a doctor performing an exam! He would walk all around the massaging chair, touching buttons, pulling down the recliner, etc.
After the massage was over the man, who was now red in the face, didn’t say a word. He just stood up to walk away, but the boy puts his hand out in front of him and asks for a dollar so he can try it too. The man ignores him and walks swiftly by him. At that moment I understood why that little boy was being so annoying to that man. He was trying to show him how interested he was in that chair, and he desperately wanted to try it for himself. But by pestering the man and preventing him from enjoying the massage, the little boy lost all chances of experiencing it for himself.
The better tactic would have been to allow the man to enjoy his massage in peace. Then ask, with genuine enthusiasm, after the man was done. He may have refused either way. But the boy could’ve increased his chances immensely.
- “We can have anything in life that we want, as long as we don’t prevent others from getting what they want.” Simon Sinek
Point #3: Believe you are deserving of it. You are worthy of your goals and dreams!
I arrived particularly late one evening, and it was well after midnight when I entered the coin laundry – my temple 🙂
As soon as I enter I hear a lady yelling profanities at someone who was apparently an incompetent human being. It was her little daughter. She was no more than 9 years old. The younger brother, who had to be about 5 or 6, didn’t get it any easier from that horrible mother. She would curse at both of them for doing this, not doing that, doing it too slow… I wanted to punch her in her mouth. Seriously, my blood was boiling. I kept repeating to myself, “I am not the fixer of things.”
I wanted to do something, but I just wasn’t sure what to do. I was so grateful that my daughters weren’t with me. No child should have to witness such cruelty… and even worse, no child should have to endure it.
I finished my laundry as fast as I could. As I was walking out, the little girl was standing near the door in front of the vending machines. Her mother was loading the car.
“I wish someone would give me a dollar,” she said softly. I immediately dropped my bags and reached in my pocket. I had a $10 bill and a $1 bill. “I have a dollar!” I said excitedly! I handed it to her but she wouldn’t take it. “I’m so proud of you and your brother. You two are amazing! Coming out here, this late at night, helping your mother with the laundry. You should be proud of yourselves. I think you’re both so amazing.” I put the dollar bill in her hand and walked out.
I watched through my windshield as she just stood there. Frozen. Still holding the dollar bill. Then her mother walked back in from loading the car, and snatched it out of the little girl’s hand! I wanted to go in there and hand the girl the $10 and tell the mother that she’s a female dog. But what would that accomplish? The little girl didn’t even know what to do with the $1 bill. What would she do with the $10? But had she asked for the $10 bill, I would have given it to her in a heartbeat.
How often do we settle for less? How often do we ask for the least amount possible because deep down we don’t believe we deserve it? Whatever it is in life that you want, it is possible and you are deserving of it. Please believe that. Ask for the best life has to offer, and be ready for all the opportunities that come!
- “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than have an opportunity and not be prepared.” Les Brown
- “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” Les Brown
2 thoughts on “The Art of Asking: Lessons from the Coin Laundry”
I was watching you grooming a rescue and although I learned some things watching you…I LOVED the relaxing music in the background! Could you tell me what it was? I’d love to know.
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Hello Tracey! 🙂
Thank you so much for watching our video of the rescue dog we groomed, and for taking the time to visit our blog! We really appreciate you spending some of your time with us 🙂 As far as the music, I’m really not sure. I think it was a CD we bought from a fabric store called JoAnn’s – it was some sort of Zen music CD with a green cover. I forget the actual name of the CD or the artist. I’m really sorry for not being able to be more helpful. If I do find out what the name of the songs were in the background, I’ll be sure to write you back!