You Gotta Ask

My mother had an expression: “You gotta ask.”

When I was about 10 or 11 years old I was talking to my mother about going to a summer camp. It was a private camp for wealthier kids, not something we could afford, but it was where all my friends were going. 

The conversation, at least from my end, was less about me asking to go and more about me wishing we were in a different situation.

But, of course, with my mother being who she was the first thing she said was, “We’re going up there to take a tour.”

“But, Mom! We can’t afford it!”

You gotta ask,” she responded, “Maybe they have a scholarship.”

Lo and behold, they did. I had the time of my life there and it never would have been possible if my mother did not ask a question about it.

So, what’s the point? No this isn’t a story about money. It’s not even a story about me. It’s about the fact that most people tell themselves a story in their heads that deter them from getting somewhere; trying something new; achieving something great.

I read a study recently about the top two regrets people have on their deathbeds. It’s expected that the first would be that they wished they spent more time focused on the people they care about. The second, though, was that there was almost always something they wish they had done, but hadn’t because of some arbitrary, nonsensical reason. 

Challenge: make good, smart decisions, but don’t be conservative. You don’t have to be in order to live a fulfilling life. Sometimes to get you what you want you gotta ask.

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