Has someone told you about an idea of theirs today? Or asked you to play squash, or golf with them? Perhaps someone emailed you today with an opportunity that you’re unsure about taking, because it requires a lot of work? Or maybe you got asked to do a talk in front of a large audience?
What was your answer to them?
In most people’s case, their response will have been “Yes, but…”. In order words, they’re saying no, with a nice face on it. They’re rejecting an idea or suggestion because perhaps it puts them outside their comfort zone, or they don’t understand the idea.
Avish Parashar is launching a new book soon, titled Say “Yes, And”. He tries to challenge the common “Yes, but…” answer, citing it as a key reason for people not achieving their goals and not making progress in different aspects of life.
Why do we say “Yes, but…” so often? Because it’s easier than saying “Yes, And”. It’s a way out of something that we don’t understand, or something that challenges us. It’s a polite way of turning down something we’d rather not do. We all say it more often than we realize – indeed, it’s become part of our everyday language. It’s one of those things we say instinctively, without thinking about it.
In Avish’s book, he talks about the dangers of saying “Yes, but…”. He says that if we don’t accept new challenges and opportunities put to us, we won’t make any progress in life.
He says it’s a vicious cycle. If you have a great idea, and suggest it to someone more experienced than you, and they say “Yes, but…”, then you’ll feel disappointed and perhaps give up on the idea. Even if you don’t give up immediately, you likely will if you’ve been told “Yes, but…” by a few more people. Later, if someone comes to you for advice, you’ll be more likely to say “Yes, but…” to them. The cycle continues, and this to me was one of the scariest parts of Avish’s book.
The best part of saying “Yes, And” instead of “Yes, but…”? It creates luck. If you say “Yes, And” to an opportunity you’re given, you’re more likely to be given further opportunities. The result is that you feel more lucky, but it’s actually luck that you’ve created yourself. And you can keep creating that luck throughout your whole life.
Say “Yes, And” is a short book, and it gives a clear guide to the many benefits of saying “Yes, And” in your life It’s the type of book you should read, and try the advice it gives for a week, and see whether it helps you in your life or not.
Personally, I learned the benefits of saying “Yes, And” a few years ago when I started my personal blog. I’d been putting it off for a while, making up excuses – ”Yes, I could make a blog, but no one would read it”, and “Yes, but I don’t know how to design my blog”. Eventually I quit with the excuses and used a free template to start it. That was one of the best decisions of my life.
But I also believe that there is a limit to the amount we should say “Yes, And”, and I would’ve liked to have read more about this in Avish’s book. I know some people who say “Yes, And” to every single opportunity they’re given. Even if they don’t have enough time to do something, they’ll find a way to make it happen in a desperate desire to say “Yes, And” to everything. But my experience with these people is that they’re devoted to nothing and in many cases lack integrity. They throw themselves at every opportunity, even if it goes against their beliefs and desires, and they end up with no time to do anything they love.
Therefore, I recommend saying “Yes, And” to opportunities you’re given and ideas you’re told about, so long as they provide you with a clear benefit and are in line with your existing aims in life. That way, you won’t spread yourself too thin, and will be able to remain devoted to a cause and with enough time to make a difference in it.
Give it a go. Try saying “Yes, And” to thing you’ve previously hesitated in doing for a week. If it makes your week better, keep saying it. If it causes you to become stressed because you’ve taken too much on, don’t say it.
This is one of the things TDTYTIS believes in. We believe you should listen to a huge amount of advice, see how it relates to your life, and then decide whether it’s advice you should follow or not. Saying “Yes, And” is no exception. Try it, but don’t follow it blindly.
Avish, the author of Say “Yes, And” has reached out to us, and has been kind enough to offer us a few physical copies of his book to give away to our readers. We’d like to hear about whether you think saying “Yes, And” is a good or a bad idea, and why. Leave a comment with your thoughts and experiences, or send a tweet to TDTYTIS, and you’ll be in to win. We’ll select a few people who have explained their views well, and Avish will send you a copy of his book.
So, start here and say “Yes, And”, and try win yourself a copy of the book. If you miss out, not to worry – Avish is giving away free PDF copies of the book for one week before its launch. See here for more information.