Today is Monday, Memorial Day in the USA, so this post is on self confidence.
I got a great lesson in self confidence yesterday from Cathy, my wife. We are members of the Denver Art Museum. We had been meaning to see a traveling exhibit, Inspiring Impressionism there ever since it opened. It closed yesterday.
We piled into our car and drove to the DAM. As we were entering the parking lot, there was a sign saying that the Inspiring Impressionism show was sold out. That was a drag, but all was not lost as there was another exhibit featuring the quilts of Gee’s Bend that we wanted to see.
Admission to the Museum is free for us because we are members. When we entered the museum, a volunteer told us that the Inspiring Impressionism show was sold out. I headed for the line that would let us in to see the permanent exhibits and the Gee’s Bend quilts.
Cathy went to the will call for tickets for the Inspiring Impressionism. She told the woman there that we were members, and asked if any tickets had been returned for yesterday. Sure enough, two tickets were available, and we had an opportunity to see some great art.
This reminded me of a story that I read in Randy Pausch’s book, “The Last Lecture.”
“On my dad’s last trip to Disney World, he and I were waiting for the monorail with Dylan, who was then four years old. Dylan had this urge to sit in the vehicle’s cool looking nose cone, with the driver. My theme park loving father thought that would be a huge kick too.
“‘Too bad they don’t let regular people site up there,’ he said.
“‘Hmmmm,’ I said. ‘Actually, Dad, having been an Imaginer, I’ve learned there’s a trick to getting to sit up front. Do you want to see it?’”
“He said, ‘sure’.”
“So I walked over to the smiling Disney monorail attendant and said: ‘Excuse me could the three of us please sit in the front car?’
“‘Certainly, sir,’ the attendant said. He opened the gate and we took our seats beside the driver. It was one of the only times in my life I ever saw my dad completely flabbergasted. ‘I said there was a trick,’ I told him as we sped toward the Magic Kingdom. ‘I didn’t say it was a hard trick.’
“Sometimes all you have to do is ask.”
I relearned that lesson yesterday. I had seen at least three signs and had one person tell me that there were no tickets available for the Inspiring Impressionism show. I believed them, and was willing to give up. Cathy was not so easily deterred. She got us two tickets for the show.
The common sense point here is simple. Self confident people ask for what they want. They may not always get it, but often they do. Randy Pausch and his father and son got to ride in the nose cone of the Disney World Monorail – because he asked. Cathy and I got to see the sold out Inspiring Impressionism exhibit at the Denver Art Museum – because she asked. Ask for what you want. If you get it, great. If you don’t, don’t take it personally. I bet you’ll be surprised by how often you get the things for which you ask.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Happy Memorial Day to those of you in the USA.
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I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open. Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.