With those three words of, "Say yes more," Danny Wallace began an exciting adventure that a few of us who often find ourselves in ruts often envy. In fact, Danny's story is so wild that one would think it was pure fiction, yet, every part is true! It all began when, depressed for a number of reasons, he had a chance meeting with stranger on a bus who advised him to say "yes" more.
Taking that advice he began a year-long experiment of shaking himself out of negativity by saying "yes" to every opportunity, question, and situation where yes or no answers were possible. In doing this, he:
- Said yes to credit card offers that came to him
- Said yes to attend meetings with executives
- Attended meetings with groups with strange beliefs about aliens
- Accepted invitations to dinners with ex-girlfriends
- Said yes to a known Internet scam
- Traveled the globe
- Accepted an invitation to a boring co-worker's party, where he winds up meeting a BBC executive who makes him responsible for a TV documentary (which, he said in a later interview, was terrible)
- Won $48,000 in a lottery
Quite a year, eh?
Although all of his experiences were not fantastically positive (e.g., the terrible documentary, which goes to show that saying yes does not substitute for skills, training, and talent), it does show that being positive and saying, "yes", does open doors. Within those open doors is where one's talent and training take over to ensure success.
When I heard Danny on a radio interview tell of his experiences, I immediately thought of endless meetings at work where ideas were brought up and then shot down in a flurry of negativity. "No! We can't do that!" "We've never done that before." "That won't fly here." "We don't have the resources." It seemed like no idea was bullet-proof. As a result, very little was done. What we got was the status quo.
I happen to be a positive and optimistic person and can see the possibilities in a lot of great ideas. The obstacles that seem to loom so large to others, to the point of making the idea impossible to bring to reality, seem only to be speed bumps to me. They were the price to pay to make our ideas reality. Why couldn't others see how easy these things could really be?
Although I didn't take Danny's "Yes" experiment to the extreme he did, I always say "yes" when an opportunity arises. As a matter of fact, in the midst of my mother's sickness, we had to deal with some medical equipment that is rather unpleasant for patients to contend with that borders on embarrassing. In conversations with my sister, who is an RN, we came up with an idea to solve this issue and are now pursuing the development of a new product that we plan to bring to market (yes, I'm being intentionally vague at this point). She has the medical expertise and I'm using some of my network contacts (some online) to develop the product and to help lead us through the maze of product development and marketing. The point is that neither of us have done this before...but we said yes. Who knows where this will lead, but we won't be where we started. It's exciting to think about it!
So, let me urge you with the same words that the stranger told Danny that started his fantastic journey....Say Yes More!