Life Lessons: Asking
Ask and it shall be given unto you. Seek and ye will find. Knock and a door will be opened unto you — Matthew 7:7
I would have titled this “The Secrets Of Asking” but the truth is that there are no secrets per se. Rather, I would say, there are things to learn about asking. This is the tasteless truth. You need to know how to ask, when to ask, where to ask and eventually how to wait for and handle a response.
Back in my University days, I fell in love with polymer / plastic engineering. It was a course in materials science/engineering that triggered my interest. I wanted more and learned more, even outside the scope of the things I was supposed to know as a student. My lecturer, Prof Ebewele of blessed memory, gave me a pack of a book, articles and a journal. I devoured it instantly. From there I got the address of the “Society Of Plastic Engineers” and wrote to them. Hey! I was a University student and every dime was important. Hence my decision to write them took a good chunk from my dough since it was an overseas letter.
Months later, they got back to me. They sent loads of materials. Receiving them was pure bliss. This was my “Sleepless In Seattle” moment. I read everything over and over again. Then the communication continued.
That moment marked a turning point for me. I got so much material and information because I asked. This was one of those eye-popping moments. I did ask for things before now but this was different. This was international. I was on another level. Lol.
The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge— Thomas Berger
Let me give you a brief about my career in asking. I cannot say exactly when it occurred to me that nobody will respond to you until you ask. Maybe it was in secondary school. I can’t remember but I just kept asking. I was not born that way but I realized that to get anywhere in life, you needed this important life skill. My job was and is to ask. My job is not to count myself out.
Immediately I got into university, I knew finances would be an issue. I searched the newspaper for every scholarship you could think of. Fortunately, I was able to apply for a few and finally got two from multinationals. Since I realized that it was possible, I got the addresses of other multinational companies and wrote to them. Some responded and proffered direction. Some never wrote back. Some gave me the answer I was not expecting but all in all it was ok. I was better informed and I became a repository of information on that matter. I shared it with the students who were interested.
With the advent of the internet and email services, I wrote to every person and institution that was of interest to me. I was fortunate to carry out my industrial attachment in a firm that had email services. I wrote to Christian ministries, Post Graduate Schools, potential employers etc. By the time I got back to school the fellowship's post office mailbox that I was used was filled to the brim with all manner of materials — gift, information pack, educational materials, prospectus etc. I got all these because I asked.
Mike Murdock reckoned in his seminal book “The Law of Recognition” (click for free e-copy of the book) that everything you need or want in life to be successful is around you, merely awaiting your recognition of it. When once you recognize it then you can ask for it. Bill Clinton said in his book “Giving” that politics is a profession filled with asking. You ask for a chance, people’s time, donors, volunteers, money and ultimately votes. The asking never stops. Then you ask to be re-elected.
In my next post, I will tackle why people do not ask especially for what they really want. There are barriers here and there; some cultural, some mental, some religious etc. I will share on how to ask. The how and why you are asking, are the most important part of making a request (oh I am getting ahead of myself). Well, we will tackle this when I am inspired to write again. Pray for me.
If you enjoyed this article, please give it some claps and share it around on the socials! Feel free to leave a comment below! Please also follow me on Twitter @gabomin