ASK – Just do it!

In some cultures asking is a taboo such as in Japan. Carl Stevens, a singer and guitarist wrote this observation.

Japan is traditionally an authoritarian society in which people are conditioned to defer to authority from a young age. As Japanese children pass through school they learn not to ask questions which would challenge the authority of their teachers. Any question which could cause their teacher to lose face is out of bounds. This deference to authority then continues through their working years, with juniors having to use elaborate, round-about wording (or simple avoidance) when asking anything delicate to their bosses. This is a one-sided relationship, however. Those higher up in the hierarchy are not bound by the same rules as those under them and this is where you can get hazing and bullying as they take advantage of the position society has afforded them.

The general Japanese disposition to maintain social harmony also results in the avoidance of potentially embarrassing questions. As a result, a lot of communication with the Japanese tends to remain on the level of small talk where no party can become embarrassed and lose face. Being in the midst of such a conversation, you get the feeling that all parties are overwhelmingly positive and happy and that maintaining that feeling (“face”) is more important than what anyone actually says. Any question that upsets that atmosphere is a no-no.

Secondly, a question is inappropriate if it shows the asker to be stupid (in the sense of socially inept – unable to read the situation and act appropriately.)

Once again, from a young age Japanese are conditioned to be hyperaware of what is appropriate in a particular social context. They are unusually sensitive to and pick up on a myriad of small things that others wouldn’t really notice or care about. A general background of “shame” is at play here, too. It’s shameful if you can’t or don’t do things (including asking questions) as everyone else does. Therefore, a Japanese will be very careful and generally avoid questions that might show him or her to lack understanding in any way.

If you’re ever involved in a Japanese conversation, you’ll notice that many things remain unsaid, implicit, and only indirectly implied. This is one reason why the Japanese language is difficult to speak at a high level. Japanese are expected to (and generally can very well) read between the lines. If you can’t do that, you are KY (“kuki ga yomenai” – “can’t read the air”), meaning you ask questions about things that you should have been able to pick up on if you were a normally socialized Japanese.

Lastly, please note that the above contains a lot of generalization. There are many sides to the Japanese culture. Especially when you’re drinking with them, a lot of the above does not apply (“bureiko” – “when you’re drinking all is forgiven!”)

Why is it so difficult to ask?
[] Some culture or families doesn’t support asking.
Some close family member, friend or colleague just will not offer any help until you ask even though they are aware of your situation. It comes across as demeaning but you have to respect their stand, maybe their hands are tied, or they are playing tough love. But you can’t make someone give you, care for you, or love you. If it is not from the heart let go. Other times they may just be too caught up and you need to give a reminder for help. Don’t be too sensitive or vengeful. Keep calm. 
[] For Gen-Z, it is reported that the online generation find it extremely hard to do face to face asking/ interaction/ confrontation. They rather avoid than to solve the issue.
[] The fear of rejection, failure, obligation, others will know your weakness
[] Shame, guilt, depression, denial, unable to let go, inability to surrender, helplessness. loss of pride
[] Unclear what to ask, you are not congruent or aligned.
[] Procrastination
[] What others think of you

In the Bible, Jesus told His disciples, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7). This should encourage us to ask for whatever we may lack, be it faith, love, hope, or courage, and believe that God will grant His blessing upon us.

Let’s break A.S.K. acronym into the 3 components:

What can you ASK for?

[] Someone’s phone number, a date.
[] The sale/order aka the closing. Low performance or new salespersons’ biggest challenge is closing a sale.
[] Friendship, companionship, marriage, partnership, divorce, separation, custody, retrial, amendment, favor, treat.
[] Forgiveness, apology, space, understanding, royal or presidential pardon, leniency, mercy, second chance, acceptance, admission, relief, euthanasia.
[] Appointment, meeting.
[] A raise, promotion, grace period, deadline extension, more responsibility, work-life balance, better title, bigger office, more tech/facilities/equipment, more manpower, uniform, benefits, health/food/transport/housing allowances, medicine, surgery, exemption, leave, time off, rest & recreation, sabbatical, early retirement, education, more manpower, WFH, digital nomad, relocation, transfer, reconsideration, change, review, second opinion, assessment, judgment, reskilling, rotation, succession, resignation, termination.
[] Money, loan, financial assistance, discount, reward, pleasure, compensation, bonus, incentive, gift.
[] Donation for CSR initiative.
[] Counseling, coaching, mentorship.
[] Support – in the form of listening, a warm hug, encouragement, no nagging.
[] Ask for HELP
Here is a list of suicide crisis lines in your country:

What do you SEEK?

[] Truth will set you free
[] Love
[] Light conquering darkness
[] Liberty from human conditioning
[] Wisdom/ Knowledge/ Guidance
[] Pilgrimage
[] Karmic Debt Settlement
[] Lost Soulmate/ Twinflame/ Twinsoul

What door do you want to KNOCK to open?

[] Door of Opportunity
[] A career/ business break
[] Location or country change
[] Door of Threat e.g. Divorce, liberation
[] Out of the closet
[] The Door of Love/ Truth / Light / Liberation / Freedom
[] Mentor/ Coach/ Teacher /Spiritual Guide
[] Angelic Guidance

WHO Do You Ask?
[] Choose the right person to ask.
[] Most times the hardest person to ask is the one who can help you.

WHEN Do You Ask?

[] Timing is very important. There can be a right season for different types of asking.
[] It’s now or never!

WHERE do you Ask?
[] You will know when you are at the right place and the right time to ask.

WHY Do You Ask?
[] One of life’s biggest regrets is not asking.
[] Because asking can CHANGE your life.

[] What is the rationale of your asking?
[] What is your True Intention?
For example if your true intention and aspiration is to help others, then state it clearly.
[] When you know WHY you are asking the HOW will be easy and automatic.

(this section is covered in The Law of Repulsion Masterclass. Inquire)

[] Asking yourself is the world’s biggest philosophical question.

In summary, asking is an action, not a thought.
Asking is as simple as just doing it.
Asking is as complex as knowing What, Who, When, Where, Why & How to Ask.
Not asking is one of life’s greatest regrets.
Asking yourself is the world’s biggest philosophical question.
Ask now. Ask today. Ask often.
Just do it! Just ask for it!
You will thank yourself in 10 years’ time.



But as a giver I find it extremely hard to ask for help. It could be a combination of shame, unable to let go, inability to surrender, helplessness, being self-orientated, depression, but not pride. I have called a suicide hotline twice only. But I wasn’t suicidal, and do not have suicidal tendencies. I once promised my doctor brother Andrew that if ever I become dangerously suicidal or excessively depressed, I would check myself in psychiatric hospital.

The first time I was in a bad period of conflict with my late wife Brenda Jose. Both of us have strong Alpha characters. I desperately needed to talk to somebody. I had very few close friends when we moved form Hong Kong to Malaysia. It really helped. And it lead to my first physical separation with my late wife. In hindsight running a business partnership as Co-Coaches in ChangeU, and living and working 24/7 SOHO was not socially healthy.

She moved out nearby but I would visit her in weekends and stay the night, leaving behind my golden retriever SunDance food and water. After 3 long months she moved back.

The second time I called a suicide hotline was the worst month of my life i.e January 2021. That month I was sued RM8 million or US$2 million over an investigative journalist article., I lost my most precious belonging my wedding ring during the funeral of an aunt, I was broke from no business in Covid, and I just had a Cheating Death Experience (CDE). I called Befrienders, but they were not open because of Covid. Later I talked to a junior colleague and it really helped me find a way out.

Subsequently I settled the RM8 million defamation suit inside the Shah Alam High Court, without paying a cent or using a lawyer. I didn’t find my weeding ring. I realized that it was a symbolic letting go of my attachment to Brenda. Losing business and living in semi-poverty was the best thing that happened to me. It made me more mindful, more grateful, more resourceful and creative to design new masterclasses, and new business models which are now my new business and spiritual focus.

A year later on 5 January 2022 I had my first NDE (Near Death Experience). I nearly choked to death. I felt I was given another second chance in life.

@The Law of Repulsion. Asking is an action, not a thought.
@Spiri Sanctuary. Let go of your false egos and ask.

Written by: Robren
Published on: 29 January 2023. Updated on: 31 January 2023.