Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Not that I want to ride a motorcycle in nothing but a loosely tied hospital gown.

One of my favorite movies is Yes Man. It's one of the few movies with Jim Carrey in it where he doesn't spend the whole time making ridiculous faces (another is Bruce Almighty, also good).  The basic premise is that a miserable guy turns his life around by saying yes to every opportunity that comes his way.  And by riding a motorcycle in nothing but a loosely tied hospital gown.

It's kind of an active twist on positive psychology. Instead of sitting back and repeating lies affirmations like "My life is wonderful. I am awesome." (have I mentioned I hate affirmations?), you go out and make your life good with your actions.

Instead of talking yourself out of everything, turning things down because you expect the worst, you take a leap of faith and say yes. You don’t have to tell yourself it's going to be great.

You just have to say you'll try.

And maybe it won't be perfect.  Odds are, it won't be perfect. And it may even be awful.  But at least you'll have a story to tell. You'll be a more interesting person.  You'll be a more open person.

I've been saying yes lately, and indeed the results haven't been perfect.  I've said yes even though I've been wary. I've said yes even though I've been uncertain.  I've pushed through insecurity and said yes to opportunities, even when I feared I might not meet the other person's expectations.

And I've been okay.  More than okay, actually.  The worst didn’t happen.  Some pretty awesome stuff happened.  Some uncomfortable stuff too, and some disappointing stuff, but I found out I have big girl panties.  The elastic may be worn out, and they may be at the bottom of my drawer, but I can put them on when I need to.

And I know I'll have stories to tell.  I am all about some stories.

In addition to saying yes, I've also learned to ask.  Create opportunity. Reach out to friends.  Reach out to strangers.  Don't be embarrassed.  Be kind, be smart, be receptive. Even if it doesn't work out, even if you get a "No" in return, try asking.

Two things:  Ask.  And say yes.

I'll end this post with one of my favorite scenes from Yes Man. After a series of yeses, Jim Carrey's character finds himself in the perfect position, with the perfect skill set, to become a rock star hero:

And don't we all want to be rock star heroes?

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