Once upon a time, in 2003, there was a young man named Danny Wallace. Perhaps you have heard of him. Anyway, after his girlfriend broke up with him, he became reserved. He rarely went out. Instead of calling someone, he texted them, and instead of meeting with someone, he called them. He became comfortable with just loafing around the house and watching television.
But one day, taking the bus home from work, Danny sat next to a mysterious Asian man who changed his life. Danny told the man about his problem of how he never seemed to go out anymore. He asked what he could do.
And the mysterious man said, “Just say ‘yes’ more.”
It sounds simple. But it inspired Danny and gave him an idea. He decided to make a pact. From that moment forward, he decided to “yes” to every situation where he would have once said “no.” In a book called Yes Man which chronicled his ensuing adventures, Danny found love, flew to Singapore, Spain, and the Netherlands, went on a psychotropic drug trip, helped a Nigerian prince who was so nice to email him asking for money, and almost got a punch in the face when a strong man asked if he was looking at his girlfriend, among many other zany situations.
By the way, if you’re looking for a quick, fun read which can also inspire you, then pick up Yes Man. For those of you too lazy to read, it’s being released as a movie by the same name this month. It stars Jim Carrey, who happens to be pretty famous.
But not to digress any longer, reading Yes Man gave me an idea. Why don’t we say “yes” more often? I certainly would not say “yes” to everything. The psychotropic drug trip is out of the question. Yet it begs another question: how many wonderful experiences do we miss out on simply because we say “no” where we could have said “yes?”
What if I had said “yes” to go to that free concert with my friend where I might have had a good time, seen a new band, or even have meet that band? What if I had said “yes” to my dad when he said he would take me to London for three days while he was on a business trip? What if I had said “yes” more often the first semester of my freshman year of college, when I spent many a night alone in my room?