These two words seem simple to me, but I have noticed recently that they actually scare a lot of people. When I find myself in a situation that I don’t like, I try to somehow weasel my way out of it. By putting it that way, some of you may be thinking that I’m making myself sound like a con artist, or a cheater, or someone who condones bending the rules. But I’m not. I just ask questions. For example, a friend and I were on the Cape last weekend and wanted to go out on my boat, but we both had our cars and you need a special sticker to park in the harbor’s parking lot. We were only going to be there for a couple hours, but it would have cost $15 to park her car, and we didn’t have any cash. A lot of people I know would have felt dejected and chosen a different plan for their day, but I chose to ask the parking attendant if there was a solution to our problem. He let us park.
Oftentimes, people miss out on opportunities – both big and small – because they’re afraid of asking questions. But what’s the worst that can happen? The answer will be no. Oh well, at least you tried. Nothing bad would ever come of just asking.
If I had never asked questions, I never would have received a single student discount. I never would have been able to go to Italy and France for Spring break my sophomore year. I never would have been a triple major. I never would have worked for the Connecticut Superior Court. I never would have tried that bomb acai bowl. I never would have joined a sorority. I never would have found my Zumba class. I never would have been able to work at my firm’s Boston office. I never would have been able to enroll myself in the Paralegal Certificate program.
I would have missed out on all of those things, and more.
The idea for this post came to me when I heard someone on the train ask the conductor to assist him in finding the cheapest options for taking the commuter rail. If he hadn’t asked, he would have been paying $6 extra everyday. When I heard that, I thought to myself, good thing he asked. Why doesn’t everyone realize that the more they ask, the more they’ll learn? The worst that can happen is not receiving an answer, but that’s better than not inquiring at all.
In my experience, asking more questions has only provided me with more positive opportunities. Who knows what you’ll find when you start to question things. Don’t just accept things for what they are; there’s always a possibility that you’ll be able to change them. Ask for the raise. Ask that stranger where she got those sunglasses. Ask if that scholarship is still available.
Ask yourself why you’re not asking more questions.