Say Yes More Often
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Less than a year ago, I was in a very difficult position in my life. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to overcome a challenge I was facing, but I’d been through rough patches before, and knew there was always an opportunity that arose at the last minute – sometimes literally the last minute.
I reached out to a friend and asked for help, who said yes. Him saying yes, changed the entire course of my life.
He offered me a chance at something, which I also said yes to. This yes brought me to Los Angeles, one of my favorite cities, for a visit on business.
While there, I reached out to some people via social media, and some reached out to me when they saw I was visiting. Some people wanted meetings while I was here, so I said yes to them, as well.
At these meetings, I would meet new people, or be invited to events where I’d meet even more people. Anytime I was invited to an event, guess what I said?
This consistent flow of opportunity and networking opened my eyes to possibilities I never thought existed, including actually moving to Los Angeles.
When I returned back to Boston from my visit, I had a lot of soul searching to do. Through this, I made the most difficult decision I ever had – it was time to pack up and make a move that I’d wanted to make for literally years prior. It was time to go to Hollywood and pursue my passions.
I sold all of my furniture. I left my apartment. I put my car (which was my baby) up for sale. I kissed my family goodbye, I took one single suitcase, and boarded a one-way flight across the country.
Since moving to LA, my life is literally unrecognizable from this previous period of time. Don’t get me wrong – it is a daily struggle to build a business and create a lifestyle when virtually literally living out of a suitcase and struggling daily to make sure bills are paid – but I know I am on the right path and that it is bringing me to where I want to be, ultimately.
The point of this? Every opportunity and accomplishment that I have had in life to this point, has been a direct result of saying yes. The accomplishment may have come down the road, through a path that I could only trace through the most random of circumstances that I never realized would lead to the point that they did – but, they did.
I lived a life of missed opportunities for a lot of years. I would stay home, or decline an invitation, or not try a new experience. I wouldn’t put myself out there – I wanted to stay comfortable. But, comfort never brings growth.
I think too many of us are stuck in our daily routines and never really push our boundaries. We never shock our system, we never live. We think we need to color inside the lines and do what we are told. Go to school, get a good job, retire at 65, and live happily ever after.
That is no longer the way of the world.
To live the life that we want to live, we must create it for ourselves. Opportunity, happiness, and love do not fall into our laps. They are discovered, uncovered, created. They are the result of deliberate effort and daily work. Self improvement. Risk. Putting yourself out there. Saying yes.
Am I telling you to leave your life behind and move to a new city all alone with nothing more than a few shirts and jackets? Of course not – but what I am saying is, the more doors you open for yourself, the more pathways you’ll find you’re able to walk down.
What if you attend an event where you meet a bartender who introduces you to his sister that has a dog you love, and then you take the dog for a walk, stop to get a coffee, and spill your coffee on a person who you end up falling in love with, and marrying?
What if you’d said no to attending that event?
One thing leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another. Often times, you never even know what the second “another” will be – only the first. But – isn’t that the beauty of life?
It’s a journey, and it’s been said that every journey begins with a single step…
I say, every journey begins with a single “yes.”
What are you going to choose?
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Thanks James. For a little under a year now I’ve simplified this into “Saying Yes to life, instead of finding excuses to say No”.
I don’t get a lot of time to read blogs and posts, but when I saw the title of this one, I just had to read it. Life has been so much more interesting and exciting now that I’ve started saying Yes instead of coming up with a lame excuse to say No and stay at home. My problem now is not enough days in the week to fit everything in! It’s not a bad problem to have.
I’m definitely an “explorer” type of person. Sure, I’ve done things that haven’t worked out, but I’ve come out wiser and have had opportunities that I never have had before. I’m on a great path now where I chucked everything 21 years ago and am now happier than ever. We all define what success is to ourselves. Mine wasn’t the rich and famous, but being able to help those in need. My needs are modest, so that works.
But I’d like to say, that when you make these drastic moves, I suggest that you understand that it may not work out the way you planned, and be OKay with that.
Beautiful post, James. You should be proud of yourself. It seems like you have had many new experiences and growth in your life within the past year. I am going to choose to say “yes” more often. Thank you for the inspiration, James.
OKAY give me something to say yes about first😉😘👍Than just maybe my answer will be a YES double yes❤❤❤❤❤❤