Want to exponentially expand your potential? One of the single best ideas I know of is habitually making unreasonable requests. What are those? Requests where you have no reasonable expectation to receive a yes in response. And yet sometimes, just sometimes, you will.
If you want to see a great example of the power of an unreasonable request, watch this video.
I first learned about this idea from Lisa Haneberg, author of Two Weeks to a Breakthrough, among other books. She said she made it a policy to make some number of unreasonable requests per week (I think it was five).
The topic came up because she was picking a well known business guru up from the airport when he came to town. When I asked how she had swung that, she explained her unreasonable request approach. She had heard he was coming to town, and e-mailed him to ask if he needed a ride. He said sure.
As she saw it, it was a numbers game. She figured 9 out of 10 unreasonable requests get a no. Since she was already expecting that, no loss there. But every once in a while she got a yes. So if she made five per week, every couple weeks a door opened that wouldn’t have. That’s two dozen doors a year!
Part of what I love about this idea is that there is absolutely no downside. By definition, you start with the assumption that you’re likely to get a no. So if that’s what you get, guess what? No big deal! It just confirmed what you already suspected.
But every once in a while that yes pops up and a door opens that you probably never even thought existed. The whole thing is nothing but upside.
Watching that video, I found myself completely inspired to step up my game. If I’m honest, I have been guilty of playing it a little safe of late. I’ve been letting fear and doubt hem me in more than I would like to admit.
Try this: Challenge yourself to start making unreasonable requests. Even if it’s just one a week, you’re investing in as-yet unclaimed possibility.
If you don’t know what requests to make, you can start by training yourself to notice them. Start paying attention to possible unreasonable requests. Train yourself to notice them. As they pop up, write them down. The more you pay attention, the more opportunities you will see to make them.
And for the record, this is one of those posts where I say, “D’oh! If I’m going to preach it, I’m going to have to live it!” So I’ll be reporting back her on my own unreasonable request adventure.
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