How to ask for the life you want.

The Life You Want
Illustration from my book, Every Word You Cannot Say*

This is one of the obvious things that no one ever puts into words:

To get the life you want, you have to ask for it.

You have to consciously know what you want out of life. If you don’t, then what are you doing? Where are you going? Asking, knowing what you want is a boat with a rudder and a sail, and without it, you’re just floating in a raft, waiting for a wave that’ll never come.

Who do you ask?

You ask the world. Loudly or quietly, it doesn’t matter, it just matters that you ask.

This is the really big secret that successful people instinctively know: The world wants to help you. It might not always seem like it, it might seem like there are barriers and challenges at every turn but the truth is, humans are social, pack animals and we instinctively want to help each other get where we want to go.

Your happiness matters to me and we’re in this together, even if the evening news and social media makes it look otherwise.


When you tell the casting director down the road that you want to be a star, he won’t give you a role on the spot but he’ll think of you the next time he has an opening. When you tell your writer friend you want to start working on your own novel, they won’t write it for you but maybe they’ll give you some advice and they’ll move you one step closer. When you tell your friend that you’re looking to start a business, they might not be able to help you – at all – but they might know someone who can, and tell them about you.

No single person or act of help is going to carry you the whole way there but asking is your ticket and along the way, many people will stamp it.

Most importantly, you yourself will start looking at your own life through the lens of what you want.

Does this person help me or hinder me?

Does this habit move me closer towards the life I want, or further away?

You can’t just ask for a better life because that’s too vague and the world won’t know how to help you. Better than what? A better job? A better relationship? More work? Less work?

Your request has to be accurate.

“I want this specific kind of job and I want a relationship that gives me the safe space and the freedom to pursue my goals.”

“I want to go overseas more and spend more time in places I’ve never been.”

“I want to finish 12 paintings this year and have a group show.”

This is not magic. You still need to do the work and it might take years. But asking for the right things helps your subconscious understand -why- you have to do the work, and helps you get up every morning and do it (or after the kids have gone to bed, or in-between meetings, or in the back of an Uber).

Ask, each day, and soon your life will begin to answer.

My best,

Iain S. Thomas

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