The Power of YES

Ever feel like you’re in a rut?  Have you looked at other people and they seem like they are doing fun and exciting things and somehow you are missing all the fun?  Me too.  Enter– Yes Man.

I just finished reading this amazing book called Yes ManSteve read it years ago and INSISTED that I read it. I don’t read all that much.  I average about .75 books per year, but I read this one in just over 18 weeks (That’s fast!).  I know because I had to renew it from the library six times.

I don’t want to spoil it because I think you should read it, but the premise of the book is this British guy named Danny Wallace, a man down on his luck.  Recently dumped by his girl and in a rut at work.  He finds himself closing the world out.  Saying no to everything.

He meets a stranger on a bus who tells him three words.  Say YES more.  The encounter empowers him. He vows to say YES to every request for the rest of the year.  For six months, he says nothing but yes.  Yes to every junk e-mail.  Yes to every stranger on the street asking for help.  Yes to school, work, church. Yes to every scam.  You can only imagine what this would be like.  It hilariously details a life where NO doesn’t exist.

Over the 18 weeks it took me to read this book, I couldn’t help but think twice to every request I received. It changed my behavior and I sure said YES a whole lot more.  Coincidentally I did more and had more fun.

Yes to playing a major role in building a float.

Who knew saying yes to building a parade float would lead to new skills, experiences and friends. I’d say yes to that any day.

Yes to hosting Chinese exchange students.

We had a ball picking up our Chinese exchange students. So glad we said yes.

There were lots of yeses, and none that I really regret.

I could go on, but this isn’t really about me.  It’s about the opportunity for YES.

I highly recommend you read this book.  But if you choose NO, then at least read these excerpts I have painfully transcribed for you.  Think about them and consider saying YES more frequently.

“When you think about it, probably some of the best things that have ever happened to you in life happened because you said yes to something.  Otherwise things just sort of stay the same.”

“Yes has the power to change lives and set people free. It has the power of adventure. Sometimes it’s the little opportunities that fly at us each day can have the biggest impact.”

If you really stop to consider it, those statements are a matter of fact.  We keep ourselves from what should be our joys by being too lazy to stubborn to accept opportunities when they come.

Anyway…It was a delightful book for many reasons.  I found the idea of YES to be life-changing.  Think about it a little.

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5 Responses to The Power of YES

  1. Joseph says:

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who maxes out my library renewal. But your skills pass my own. I thought you can only renew 3 times.

    • Kristin says:

      I had to physically take the book to the library, hand it to the library lady and she handed it back to me. I did that twice. That’s how much I wanted to finish my book. I’m quite the speed reader, I know.

  2. Emilee says:

    That’s great, yet simple, advice. Thanks! I am so excited for your adventure with the cute exchange students. I hope to hear all about it!!

  3. Aimee says:

    Have you seen the movie Yes Man? Jim Carey is in it, and that simple little word has a huge effect on his life. Great story though, and a good reminder. Looks like yes has done fun things for you already! :)

    • Kristin says:

      I did see YES Man a few years ago. I know it is loosely based on this book. I loved the movie too, but as usual, the book is better.

      BTW, I loved the list on you blog!