The Magic Lamp in Real Life
Have you ever had someone you don’t want to talk to…talk to you? When it happens, it rarely makes you over ten thousand dollars?
Well, that’s what happened to me. An uninvited conversation left me with one realization that is simultaneously a money maker, a happiness amplifier, and a life enlarger.
Let me share it with you.
I’m sitting at the metro and this man walks in. He starts walking towards me. Please don’t sit next to me, please don’t sit next to me, please don’t sit next to me.
Sure enough, right next to me he sits.
And just as he sits, I pull out my iPad and resume the Aladdin movie. Ah! I have avoided the uninvited conversation or have I?
He leans over “Is that Aladdin?”. “Yes. Apparently, it is”.
“I could give you the magic lamp” he grins. Is he flirting with me or is he trying to scam me?
“You know, every billionaire, every millionaire, these guys use it all the time. It really exists, but you don’t know it”, he continues.
At this point, man, I have to admit that I am intrigued. Call me a sucker if you must, but I’m high in openness. So, I utter what comes out as a rhyme: “Old man, tell me. What are you trying to sell me?”
That is all he needs.
“Tell me, boy, why the genie grants your wishes,” he asks.
“Because he’s the genie?”
“No! The genie grants your wishes because he has two things.”
He looks at me expectantly and I am as lost on the point as you are right now.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say, and he responds with what finally makes sense. “The genie grants wishes because he has firstly, the ability to grant your wish, and second, the willingness to grant your wish”.
Okay, that makes sense.
He continues “You see, boy, there are humans who have the ability and willingness to help you with your causes or wishes or whatever”.
When you think about it, he is right.
Bill Gates has the ability to buy me a Maserati but his willingness to do so is definitely zero. And my dad’s willingness to buy me a Maserati can be a whopping nine hundred percent, but his ability to do so is near zero.
In either case, I’m not getting a Maserati because I can’t find the person who has the combination of willingness and ability.
So, I ask the old man, this obvious question:
“I get it, but how will I find the person who has the willingness and the ability to grant my wish?”
He replies “Ask”.
Are you kidding me?
“Hey, I am not going to ask around for favors, man. What if the person I ask doesn’t have the willingness or ability? It will be so awkward”.
“Look, boy. If I gave you five lamps and I said one of them has the genie in it. Would you refuse to rub them for the fear that the first one you rub could turn out empty?”
“Of course not. I will rub them all night and all day. One of them has the genie”.
“Same with humans”.
And it finally sunk in.
If you ask around long enough, the person with the right combination of willingness and ability will hear you. At that very moment, I knew that this was a million dollar lesson. I thought to myself, I wouldn’t mind giving him a thousand bucks for this.
At that very moment, as if he has read my mind, he says to me: “So, boy, do you have the willingness and the ability to spare me a hundred bucks?” And I looked at him in the eye and smiled a gentle smile. I took a deep breath and said “no”.
But you know what? I’m sure he got his hundred bucks from someone that day. And the lesson still stands: If you ask long enough, you will find someone who will help you. It will not be me, but you will find someone.
Helping Others Without Expecting Anything In Return
This was one year ago. And since then, I tested the idea. I read further on it. It is very thoroughly covered in The Aladdin Factor, by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen [authors of Chicken Soup for The Soul]. I highly recommend reading it [or listening to it on tape] to get a better understanding of how to execute the idea.
I noticed that my hesitance to ask for help was only caused by my distorted view of people. I thought people were selfish. And to be honest, it was only because I was being selfish. My self-image was kind of forming a lens through which I looked at others.
So, it is very important to expand your own willingness to help others. Instead of making it a one-on-one exchange, just be willing to help anyone. It will make it easier to ask for help from anyone. Let the universe keep score.
Put the idea in practice and let me know how much value you get out of it. I got over ten thousand dollars in deals, over my previous performance, in three months of badly executing the idea.
Then, I stopped keeping score and started helping others without expecting anything in return. I will tell you, though, that it becomes exponentially more useful the better you get at executing it.
See Also: The Power of Volunteering