The secret to an interesting life is saying yes whenever possible. A strong, CLEAR no is important too. Without a strong no there is no yes.
But exercising your yes muscles even when you are fearful or in doubt will no doubt to lead to more magic and adventures. One thing leads to another.
Yesterday, my last day in Buenos Aires. I was packing and preparing for my friends to come over to watch the Argentina-Holland semifinal game when I got an email from a producer at HuffPost Live. His Argentine superfan had disappeared and he needed a fan from Buenos Aires to do a live chat faceoff with a Dutch fan.
He wanted blue and white face paint and an Argentina jersey for the interview, and I had to say, I don’t have those things! I was honest with him and I will be honest with you. I know very little about football. I am no superfan. I know more than most Americans, probably, because I was living in Rio de Janeiro four years ago for the World Cup (such wild passion), and I was in Argentina for this World Cup (such luck!). But I am by no means the person to tell you about “what we can expect from Messl” (the top player in Argentina and maybe the world) in the game.
Regardless, I said, “Sure, why not? But tell me what you are going to ask me.” In the next mail, I said, “Just don’t ask me about the players, ask me about the mood and the passion in Buenos AIres.” Cultural observation I can do. Connecting football to politics I can do. So I commented on the World Cup in HuffPost Live. My brother Dan is an actual sports reporter who covers the Boston Bruins and I found it amusing that now I can call myself a sports commentator too.
Watch my debut as a traveling sports reporter above.
What does saying yes to this opportunity mean? Who knows?
But it’s fun to say yes. It makes life more interesting and opens the door to more magic and adventures. When have you said yes?
By the way, I want to remind you I am teaching this one-day writing workshop Writing Your Hero’s/Heroine’s Journey at the San Francisco Writers Grotto Saturday, August 2.
Perhaps these are the stories of when you have said yes and what you learned. Would love to see you in this class to hear your story, whether you’re blogging, writing an essay or a book.
Check out the class details here and take advantage of this opportunity while I am back in the States!
My fraternity brother Roy at Wesleyan was a mathematician and intrepid rock climber from New Hampshire who liked to rappel down buildings. He convinced me to do this though I had never jumped off anything higher than a bed before. The building we were going to rappel down was the Wesleyan University Science Tower, then still under construction. It wasn’t much of a tower at only eight stories but once I was standing on the outside of the fire escape railing with nothing between me and the ground it seems quite high enough. Roy instructed me to basically jump off while somewhat releasing one of the ropes. I was pretty much scared to death. Roy asked, “Don’t you trust the equipment?” I confessed that I did not. Roy then asked, “Don’t you trust me?” And to that I answered “Yes” and soon was flying through the air and rappelling down the building!
Love it George! Thanks for sharing this story.
While I was in graduate school studying ecology and evolutionary biology, some good friends invited me to come along on a field trip in Baja California. They would be travelling and camping for a week, doing fieldwork for their dissertation and exploring that amazing place. There were SO many reasons to say no: my own research, my teaching responsibilities, other obligations. So I said no. And then, at the last minute, something made me say “YES”. I quickly arranged for others to cover my classes and such, threw things in a bag and went along. It still remains as one of the best adventures of my life to date. Baja is such a weird place–desert meeting ocean, some of the strangest plants you’ll ever see, great tidepooling. We camped out in the most beautiful places, laughed a lot, and came away with a host of great memories.
I haven’t been saying “yes” enough lately. Thank you for the reminder.
Yes! Great to read your story Amy.
You are SO wonderful! For saying YES and writing this article. I needed to read it. You are such an amazing gift to ME and to the planet!!!!
Aww thank you Barbara!!!!! Happy reading your comment. 🙂
It is Paula White. How are you? I married myself less than a week ago. It was a small and simple ceremony. People are asking me about how I feel afterwards. First of all, I feel great, but secondly, I have noticed a sense of abundance that has come to me afterwards! I have to admit I wasn’t expecting that!
I just said yes to two opportunities that will not only allow me to make more money to pay my copy editor so that I can complete my first manuscript of fiction, but also to engage in research for that same novel. This is in addition to the job I already have as a nurse. The details are slowly coming together and only time will tell, but I feel that if all goes well, these opportunities are going to be stepping stones into a new career for me.
Practice saying yes to opportunities that life offers more often, not only from others, but also from yourself, and the universe will say yes to you. I had to share that.
I said YES at the last minute and ended up at The Antique Road Show here in the UK. There was low attendance for some reason and my friend and I ended up in almost every segment. We made friends with the camera crew and the presenters too, everyone was so friendly and funny. The people getting their objects valuated were real eccentrics. Because you are standing bunched next to other spectators while the filming is going on, you get to meet and talk to lots of people. I was needing that.