You don’t get anything unless you ask for it…

My class is in the final stages of preparation for a mini-exhibition. As part of the exhibition the children will be sending a selection of photos down to New Zealand. I asked the class if it would be ok if we have a representative from the New Zealand community to come to the exhibition and I was finally able to tell the kids, the visitor would be there to see their photos tomorrow.

“Wow how did you get the visitor to come?” one of my class piped up.

I looked at the class.

“The same way you get anything you want in life, by politely asking for it.”

I reflected on this statement for a while after school. Schools like any workplace are not to immune to fits of jealousy.

My team leader didn’t like me…

My principal was unfair…

I should’ve had the opportunity that the other teacher had…

How come that other teacher gets all the attention?

The green eyed monster can prompt you push yourself harder to get the things you desire but it can also manifest in complaining and backstabbing.

A few years ago I missed out on a job I thought I was a shoe-in for. Rather than complain and moan to my friends (ok I did a little of that), I decided that the best thing to do was to use the setback as a learning opportunity. I got in contact with the interviewer and asked for some feedback about the interview to improve for next time. This particular person was kind to give a few words of criticism, which kind of stung. However the advice worked, I got the next job from the next interview and in hindsight I realised that the place I got knocked back from would have been a bad match for me.

I also learned that if you want something, you’ve got to ask. The worst anyone can do is say no.

It can be easy to be the person who waits in the corner, complaining about missed opportunities and unfair decisions.

But the reality is only you can make you wait.

Nobody else can.

You need to decide what you want and what you’re willing to give up to get it, and then you got to be peace with that.

Or you need to be okay with waiting on the sidelines in the hope of getting the call up.

Sometimes you can ask for something like a job or career opportunity and you don’t get it.  But even then you can ask why. It could event be a good time to question if the opportunity is worth having in the first place. Some things are never meant to be, no matter how much you want them.

Even in the face of setbacks there opportunities to be found.

Because ultimately you don’t get anything unless you ask for it…

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