I used to be the king of “no”…”yes” lived in a far off land. My friends would ask, “want to grab a drink tonight?” My answer: no. My former wife would ask, “want to go bowling tonight?” My answer: no. My business partner asked, “want to sell the company?” My answer: no.
“No” was my protective shield. I used it to protect myself from the unknown…from uncertainty…from doing things I convinced myself I didn’t really want to do.
Then, a few years ago, I Netflix-ed the movie “Yes Man” with Jim Carey. His movies aren’t normally associated with inspirational messages, but this one is.
In case you haven’t watched it, he starts the movie as a “No Man,” saying no to everything. The result is a boring, unfulfilled, meaningless existence. He goes to work. He goes home. He has no reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Then, he decides to see a motivational speaker who convinces him to say “yes” to everything for one year. As with all Jim Carey movies, he goes a bit overboard with it, but this “No Man” (I’m pointing to myself right now) received the message loud and clear.
If I wanted my life to have more meaning, purpose and joy, I needed to make a change. I needed to start saying “yes.” And that’s what I did.
My ensuing adventures aren’t Jim Carey-movie-worthy, but they did have a profound impact on my life. Want some examples? I thought you might….
I went to a Millionaire Mind seminar that I didn’t want to go to. As a direct result of that seminar (someone I met there), I flipped a house 6 months later. My friend Anna moved to Denver to go through the process with me and now she’s a real estate agent. I enjoyed the mentoring part of the process so much that I decided to start my own educational program for web startups. So I’m writing this email right now because I said yes when I wanted to say no.
I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, but I convinced myself I couldn’t do it. After 4 years of Spanish classes in school and nary a sentence in my repertoire, I had good reason to believe I’d never speak the language. Then I saw an ad for a Spanish program while surfing the web and said “yes.” Ahora, puedo hablar en español.
Three years ago, I was presented with a chance to go on a group scuba diving trip. I love scuba, but I’m not a group traveler kinda-guy. Despite my reservations, I made the reservations (clever, huh?). While on the trip, I met Marc and we became friends. When we got back to Denver, he introduced me to a few of his friends (I had to exercise my “yes” muscles a lot to go out and meet them). Then last year, one of Marc’s friends (Cathie) introduced me to Amelia and we’ve been dating for 8 months! She’s awesome! And I would have never met her if I said “no” to that group scuba diving trip!
I could go on. The power of “yes” has drastically altered my life and made it SO much more meaningful. It’s given me a reason to get out of bed in the morning, just like it did for Jim Carey in the movie.
Don’t get me wrong…I don’t say “yes” to everything. But when I’m confronted with a choice between “yes” and “no,” and I’m considering “no,” I ask myself “why?” If I can’t come up with a good reason for saying “no,” I say “yes” instead.
Next time you have a choice and you’re thinking of saying “no,” try saying “yes.” One “yes” can literally change your entire life.
Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting you say “yes” to anything harmful or illegal. Those would be good reasons to say “no.” Thought I should throw that in there….