If you do this you’ll get what you want.


The other day I left to run a few errands and asked our nanny to give Baby P a bottle while I was out.

I simply said, “a bottle,” without any more specifics.

When I came home I realized that she’d made a bottle for the baby with quite a bit more milk than we usually do, simply because it was all in one container and she grabbed the first one she saw in the fridge.

Every ounce of breastmilk feels like gold. So when I have to throw some away or it otherwise gets “wasted,” I get upset (sometimes unreasonably so, given that there really is plenty more where it came from).

I have a whole theory on my mentality about amassing a breast milk freezer stash, how it relates to my evolving relationship with money, and how we can all use what I’ve learned to up-level our abundance game. (Stay tuned for it in a future post, and make sure you’re on my list so you won’t miss it.)

There were a whole bunch of things that week that didn’t get done the way I wanted them to get done.

Becoming a mother has run a giant fluorescent highlighter over the fact that I’m a control freak. (I honestly didn’t really know the extent of it before.) And my control freakiness was out in full force that week.

Wires had gotten crossed with Mike about a new scheduling software we were using and had created a systems cesspool. I’d asked someone on our team to do something and it didn’t get done the way I’d asked.

I was irritated. I was blaming everyone else. I was bitching and moaning.

And then I realized: it was my fault.

Not my fault in the getting out the flail kind of way. But my fault in the taking responsibility for the results kind of way. (We do have a choice about beating ourselves up or simply learning from our foibles in a more gentle way.)

The reason things weren’t getting done the way I wanted them to be done was because I wasn’t being clear. I wasn’t being specific.

If you ask someone to do something without being specific and it doesn’t get done the way you wanted, that’s your fault, not theirs.

I could complain all day about how the other people in my life weren’t doing what I wanted. Or I could take responsibility for the fact that my communication wasn’t clear.

If you want something done the way you want it, you have to be specific when you ask.

I needed to say, “Please give the baby 4 oz. of milk while I’m out,” instead of, “Please give the baby a bottle.”

I needed to be detailed in my requests to our team.

I needed to spell out what I needed from Mike in order for him to be able to do it. (This one will save relationships, people!)

If we stop expecting people to read our minds and instead tell them specifically what we want, our chances of getting it go up infinitely.

So, whether you’re asking for something from your husband, your business manager, your friend, or the Universe, remember:

Be clear. Be specific. Be direct. Make it easy for others to give you what you want. {Tweet it!}

Be clear. Be specific. Be direct- Tweet



How do you increase the likelihood that you’ll get what you want when you’re communicating with others? What are your communication tips? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!



I don’t know what I’m doing (and you probably don’t either).


It took me until I was 26 to realize that my parents didn’t know everything. Most people realize that in high school and go through a rebellious phase right around the same time. I was a little slow on the uptake. My parents are both incredibly smart, accomplished, wonderful humans. But, they are just that:…

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Are you a prayer?


A friend of mine posted on Facebook requesting love to be sent to someone in need. The way she phrased the beginning of her request stopped me in my tracks. “If you’re a prayer…” she said. What she meant was if you’re someone who prays (I am). But what I read was if you yourself…

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Don’t worry. It gets worse before it gets better.


You start the cleanse and you get a gnarly headache and feel super grumpy all of a sudden. You’re cleansing to feel better but instead you feel worse. Hang in there. It always gets worse before it gets better. Your new skincare regime promises to create a luminous complexion. But after three days you’re breaking…

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Taming the Creep.


I thought I had my butt firmly in my seat on the “No Train.” I’ve written about saying no a bunch of times. I’ve written about saying no a bunch of times (here, here, and here, for example.) I’ve heard other people say it a gagillion times. I thought I had it down. But I realized that…

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How do I play big when I feel small?

Kate Northrup explains how she plays big when she feels small. Check more out here: http://bit.ly/1px66cw

I received this smart, beautifully vulnerable question the other day, and it struck a chord in my heart. It doesn’t matter how many trappings of “success” (whatever that means) we’ve accumulated: everyone feels small sometimes. When I thought about my response, I recalled a moment a while back when I had spiraled deep into comparison….

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Who do you want to be?


“I’m just surprised by the kind of mother I am,” I said. My sweet therapist nodded as she listened with compassion. I went on to tell her how I had assumed I would be the kind of mother my mother was. She was my primary role model for mothering, after all. I thought I wouldn’t…

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It’s not luck. It’s choice.


When we exclaim how lucky someone is, there’s a lot of backstory we’re ignoring. We all know people who have all the privilege and blessings in the world who haven’t made much of them. We all know people whose backgrounds make our stomach turn but who have managed to create beautiful, meaningful, wholehearted lives. Call…

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It was the hardest week of my life and this made all the difference.


The week my baby was born was the hardest week of my life. Penelope is such a blessing, I love her more than anything, and her birth was one of the best things that ever happened to me. But the week after was just. so. hard. I’ve yet to talk to a woman about her…

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Our B-School Gift Contest Winner + A Surprise!

While we watched the submissions for our B-School Gift Contest this weekend Mike turned to me and said: “I feel really optimistic about humanity right now.” Your talent, your heart, your creativity, your sense of humor, and your passion moved us. Whether you’re a winner or not, know that putting yourself out there is a…

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