I don’t know if you would have seen the Jim Carey starring ‘Yes Man’ a few years ago. It’s a super funny movie about a guy with low self-esteem who meets a friend and participates in a programme which challenges him to say yes to everything in life for an entire year.
If you haven’t seen the movie, go see it as I am not about the ruin the ending here. But, the point I am trying to make is when do you last remember yourself saying Yes without hesitation? In fact, I remember in my last corporate job I was told that saying ‘Yes’ to everything is actually a sign that you are too eager and want to show off.
As we grow older our default setting shifts from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’ or to the most irritating, ‘Let Me Think About It’. And, this seems to intensify once we become mothers.
As new mothers it is common to say, “No, I don’t have time to go meet my friends” and my current favourite, “No, I don’t have the energy to cook or exercise.” Sadly, this intensifies once our kids become toddlers and before we know it most of the sentences coming out of our mouth are prefixed with the word, ‘No’.
This behavior of ours is often in direct contrast to our children who are so trusting and eager to try just about anything we throw their way. A new toy, sure they will give it ago. Hold out your hands and they will happily stretch their arms so you can pick them up. And, if you sleep next to them they will sweetly even rest their feet on your tummy, trusting you completely.
It is time we take a page out of our childrens’ books and embrace ‘Yes’ once again. I am not proposing a Carey-esque Yes challenge – that is a little extreme even for me.
I propose we start small by just saying Yes to as many things as possible. Here are some small practical steps I’ve taken in recent times to embrace ‘Yes’ into my life:
- When someone asks me to do something, I listen completely instead of waiting for them to finish so I can talk. Most of them time, that along with some vigorous nodding is all that is required of me.
- When my child cries for attention, I put away whatever it is I am doing for atleast 5 minutes and give him my undivided attention.
- When I spot a challenge I know I can achieve but is slightly out of my comfort zone – like this #AtoZChallenge – I decide to give it my best shot.
- I’ve realized I need some time to myself at the start and end of each day to read and write and I make sure I wake up early to give myself this time to recharge.
- If I spot a new technique – whether it is related to cooking and my job or to parenting, I choose to give it a try or to read more about it rather than just believeing it’s impossible.
- I choose to be trusting and take what you say you will do for me at face value.
You could say that embracing ‘Yes’ makes me naive. That I am not taking the time to weigh the pro’s and cons. But, the other side of the coin is that the more you say ‘Yes’ to, the more happiness you will attract in our life. After all, it is very hard not to smile back when someone smiles at you.