If you want to be considered, you have to present yourself for consideration.
Everything you get in life is a return on investment.
This is true not only for the artist who wishes to be known for his work or for the entrepreneur who needs to attract more customers, but it’s also true at the everyday level of being invited to weddings, receiving phone calls from friends, and not being the one who is forgotten or overlooked when acquaintances get together for casual hangouts.
The harsh, but liberating, fact of social life is that you cannot entirely depend on getting picked or being taken care of by the people whose affection you desire.
It’s harsh because we all know, or will eventually find out, what it feels like to be overlooked or left off the list.
It’s liberating because once we accept the fallible, and sometimes fickle nature of our social networks, we can put an end to the suffering that comes from passively waiting on other people to anticipate and satisfy our needs.
One of the most self-defeating assumptions to which we can adhere is the notion that attention only matters if it isn’t requested.
If you have a well-established track record of getting everything you want just by looking pretty, enjoy the good life (while it lasts).
But for the rest of us who know what it’s like to suffer in silence, I offer this simple reminder:
Speak up. Find creative and tactful ways for requesting the things you need. If this seems difficult for you, take some time to develop new skills. Challenge yourself by studying and practicing the art of clear confident communication. Never assume that you’ve read all the books, tried all the methods, and heard all the different perspectives. Learn, learn, and apply what you learn. Accept no excuses from yourself and refuse to throw pity parties.
The world can be a very welcoming and accommodating place, but you have to be willing to engage it with a proactive and persistent mindset.
Get out into society and start making a case for the things you want, feel, and believe.
Make your presence felt. Make your voice heard. Make your perspective known.
Make your life the product of deliberate intent.