What do you think you need?

“What do you think you need?”

When my father asked me the question, he was asking how much money I thought I needed to move so that he could help me out.

I’d foreclosed on my condo in Atlanta earlier that year, and had been living with my sister and her family. Obviously, that arrangement was temporary, and I’d been thinking about a new place to call home; I picked Greenville, SC.

Again, when my father asked, “What do you think you need?” he was thinking about money.

Only when I heard the question, I took it as, “What more do you think you need?”

Indeed, what more did I think I needed?

I’d sold my place in D.C. to keep it from foreclosing too, so I had some money. Most of it would go toward buying a car, but I could squeak out a month’s rent or two with the leftovers; in that time, I’d probably have a job.

In the end, my father’s question was all that I needed to set a goal to be in Greenville by the end of January the next year, and I made my goal by one day.

What do you think you need?

Recently, I was emailing with a friend who, like me, wants to start a business venture around photography.

As we were emailing, she mentioned wishing that she had a camera “so badly.”

I asked if she knew what kind of camera she wanted and the cost, which she did.

“Great. Let’s get it. I’ll tithe to that,” I wrote back.

And that’s when she realized that she could have the camera; she’d been acting as if it was out of reach, which was putting it out of reach, she said.

The camera may not be in her hands, but she owns it in her mind now. And I predict it will show up with perfect timing—because she has a lot on her plate right now, I’m guessing that she’s not ready to launch her photography venture immediately, even if she had the camera to do it.

The only thing you need, in this moment, to bring about what you want—moving to a new city, acquiring a camera, starting a new career etc.—is to own it in your mind.

Even though my friend had been putting the camera out of reach, by her own admission, there was something that she did “right”: she didn’t wait to have money in hand to research the kind of camera that she wanted.

And by finding the camera she wanted, she made her aspiration tangible to me.

And by making her aspiration tangible to me, I can support it with great pleasure because I love giving a portion of my income each month toward people’s business ventures that resonate with me.

What do you think you need?

The next thing you need to bring about what you want—moving to a new city, acquiring a camera, starting a new career etc.—is to make your aspiration tangible to other people.

Once you do, I’m confident that someone will help because that’s what people love to do. But sometimes they themselves need help to understand what would be helpful to you.

P.S. I have something to report about my friend and the camera. She has it in her physical possession now, less than two months after she owned it in her mind.