In our daily lives, we often find ourselves hesitating to ask for what we truly desire. Whether it’s seeking a promotion at work or requesting a favor from a friend, the fear of rejection often holds us back. However, according to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, this approach is counterproductive. Altman emphasizes the importance of being clear about our needs and desires and having the courage to ask for what we want.

One of the primary reasons people refrain from asking is their fear of rejection. However, research shows that this fear often hinders individuals from achieving their goals. They end up spending their time in ways that do not align with their desires. Additionally, a 2008 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reveals that people tend to underestimate the willingness of others to help or comply with their requests.

Altman’s argument aligns with scientific findings, suggesting that fear of rejection and underestimating others’ willingness to assist are common barriers to success. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge the possibility of rejection and trust in our ability to bounce back from any disappointment.

Altman believes that being “willful” is a key attribute for achieving success. Challenging the notion of accepting things as they are, Altman encourages individuals to assertively ask for what they want. By doing so, we tap into our capacity to create opportunities and make things happen. Although rejection may be painful, the rewards when our requests are met can be surprisingly satisfying.

Furthermore, Altman emphasizes the importance of taking calculated risks. Acknowledging that we cannot always be right, he encourages us to try multiple approaches and adapt quickly based on what we learn. Stepping outside of our comfort zones becomes critical in our journey to attaining our desires.

Altman’s insights were shared before his abrupt removal and subsequent return to OpenAI. His tenure as the CEO of startup accelerator Y Combinator and experience in the field of artificial intelligence make his perspective notable. Although his ouster in 2023 raised safety concerns regarding OpenAI’s AI technology, his advice on asking for what we want remains relevant.

In a world where hesitation prevails, Altman’s words remind us of the power of being clear about our desires and having the courage to ask for them. While the fear of rejection may seem daunting, it is essential to recognize that our persistence and resilience can lead to fulfilling outcomes. Additionally, taking calculated risks and stepping outside of our comfort zones are crucial steps toward achieving our goals. So, why not embrace the power of asking for what we want? Start today and witness the possibilities that unfold.


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