I once attended a Professional Coaching conference where I had the pleasure of hearing Julio Olalla, founder of The Newfield Network speak. One of the things Julio said that captured my attention was, “There is tremendous suffering around our inability to ask.”

That has been my observation, as well. Our inability to ask for what we want—from others, from ourselves, and from life—is the root of nearly all suffering. That’s a pretty strong statement. Here is why I make it: the only way to draw into your life what you want is by asking for it. The trouble is, most of us don’t realize what we are asking for moment-by-moment because we have a fixed idea of what asking looks like or sounds like.

The most direct way of asking for something is to say, “Could I have that please?” That’s pure and simple. As long as you are looking at the object of your desire and feeling confident that you can have it, it is also the quickest way to get it.

But most of us don’t look at what we WANT. We look at what we don’t want and resist it; we try and push it away. For example, we say the words, “I want a job I love,” while our full attention is focused on what we hate about the one we currently have.

When you pay attention to something, it is the same as asking the Universe, “Could I have that, please?”

You see, the Universe is energy-based. As such, it is ruled by the Law of Attraction which, in its simplest form says “Like attracts like.”

The Universe has no ears. It cannot hear your words. Instead, it reads energy. When your energy is focused on something, the Universe interprets it as a request for delivery. The longer you focus on it, the sooner it gets delivered. The stronger your emotions are at the time (positive or negative), the more intense your energy. This also causes whatever you’re focused on (or something very similar) to be delivered more quickly.

The Universe does not discern on your behalf whether what you ask for is good for you or bad. It simply receives your request (i.e., “Please deliver more of what I hate about my job”) and fulfills it.

Does this mean we can’t change our minds? No! What is required in order to cancel a request we inadvertently made is to shift our attention to its opposite and strongly visualize that being delivered.

It sounds far-fetched unless you’re awake to how it’s happening in your life every single day. Haven’t you ever noticed that the more you don’t want something to happen, the more it seems to come your way? That is where expressions such as, “It went from bad to worse,” come from.

It works to our advantage as well. Success does indeed breed success. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer as long their focus is on “what is,” because their attention to it is tantamount to asking for more.

So how do you know what you’re asking for? Pay attention to how you feel. When you have a good feeling in your gut, it is your signal that what’s coming your way is going to feel equally good. Remember, “like attracts like” so the only thing you can attract when you’re feeling good is something that’s a match to that feeling.

If you have a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach, start looking for what you’re focused on that’s making you feel bad. When you identify where your attention is, say to yourself, “That’s clearly something I don’t want (as evidenced by my negative reaction) What do I want?” Once you identify what it is, put your full attention on it until you’ve replaced the negative feeling with a positive one.

It’s really very simple. Ask the Universe to send to you only those things that will make you happy. How do you ask for that? By giving your FULL ATTENTION to what you already have in your life that makes you happy. Then, open up the delivery dock. Good things are headed your way.

You asked for them.

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