These days a book published in 1985 fell into my hands that took me back to stages of my early youth. “The Aladdin Effect”, title of the book, intends to demonstrate in its development that "for someone to get it, you have to ask" or, in popular lexicon, to know that “the baby that doesn't cry, doesn't breastfeed”. To the extent that I got into reading this self-help text, I walked through different situations in my life that without a doubt meant, to some extent, lost opportunities.

I remembered, for example, when they took me as a child to visit my uncle Tony Manrique, a generous brother of my maternal grandmother. The teaching in our home was clear that any time we were offered anything - candy, a ride in the car or a gift - we should reject it as a sign of good manners.

But it was the case that my dear uncle honored me on each visit with a gift of five bolivars! at a time when the equivalent of 20 sodas could be purchased with that amount. The rite then consisted of my uncle's attempt to give me his coveted obolus and I refused him without much emphasis; in the end he had to “convince me” so that I, with great dignity, would accept.

And let's not talk about the opportunities that one loses in matters of love. How many times have we not had in front of our noses the woman of our life and we have not dared even to sketch a slight smile. I remember that as a teenager I practiced salsa and merengue dancing in the solitude of my room but shyness prevented me from risking the public launch of my skills.

The fear of rejection kept me away from the dance floors forever until one day, Judith Ruiz, an intuitive friend, forced me, in an act of feminine strength, to dance with her “La Vaca Vieja”, to the sound of the unforgettable Billo's Caracas Boys. From then on everything was "sewing and singing" despite the fact that Natacha, who was the one who really fascinated me, had already tied up with a kid from the block who was a phenomenon dancing rock and roll.

And let's not talk about the girls. Since they were little girls they are taught to be dignified and indifferent with the specimens of the opposite sex to the point that they make it very difficult for us at the time of conquest, even when intimately they die to give in... In short, knowing now this facet of human nature The phrase of the great Dale Carnegie usually comes to mind when he said that "the sale begins when the customer says no".

And everything would go very well if this attitude stayed in the area of ​​adolescence; The problem is that if we transfer it to the business world, it could become a heavy burden to achieve business success.. This is so true that very often we refrain from asking questions so as not to appear ignorant to our subordinates, bosses or co-workers.

Sometimes "we fly by instruments” to make others believe that we master a certain subject. In this sense, I have always admired my friend Jacobo Pimentel for his immense ability to ask questions, even on topics that he had mastered perfectly. Jacobo mischievously told me that the best way to flatter someone was to make him talk about what he knew.

Sometimes we believe that we are not important enough to deserve a promotion, a loan or a simple hug or we are stupidly proud to dare to ask for something that we justly deserve. Some of us go so far as to be lazy even to ask a stranger for directions, even when lost...

So I suggest that from now on we apply some formulas of the Aladdin Effect and proceed to break the cultural and psychological chains that prevent us from obtaining what we rationally want.

Let's start, once and for all, by writing a list of wishes or purposes that we consider attainable, classifying them as immediate, short, medium and long term. Let's write them down on paper or on the computer.

Let us dedicate ourselves now to meditating on the immediate purposes and temporarily shelve the others. Let's close our eyes and imagine the steps prior to the materialization of our fantasy, detail by detail.

If it is a question, for example, of signing a contract, let us mentally reproduce all the actions that we will take that day from the moment we get up, when we get dressed, our transfer to the signing site, the characters that will intervene in the act, the arguments that we will present to convincing our client and, finally, the long-awaited closing moment. If our proposal is reasonable, we will see how amazingly the facts that we vehemently imagine, are reproduced in reality.

To the extent that our desires crystallize, we will acquire more and more confidence to undertake new and greater adventures. We know that in life everything has its moment but it is good to recognize in time if we have been trapped in our dreams or in our fears and if we should go out and face success.

That's why I send you a final piece of advice: Ask, ask, ask and ask until your dreams come true...

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