As we approach another week of turkey and thankfulness, we pause to reflect on the time, challenges and blessings we all have had. It is a wonderful time to be with family and appreciate what we have.
How do we directly convey our appreciation to those who deserve it? People in our present, people from our past? People who help us routinely and people who set you on the right path? But is saying "thanks" enough? Well, it is a very important start.
If you are truly grateful, repay them with an offer of unconditional support. How can I help YOU? Make an unsolicited offer to do them a favor. I do believe that reciprocity is the most powerful form of exchange. Ask people how you can help them. I am not talking about a well maintained ledger of give and get. I am suggesting that you need to repay what you have received with an act of generosity. Make sense?
Here's the lesson: People said "Yes" to you. They agreed to help you, guide you, and get you what you needed. Without their willingness to say YES, you would not be where you are.
For many years one of my many new year's resolutions was to " to say "NO" more often, to decline "opportunities" and favors, so I could focus on "priorities". It was one of my early career efforts to be more focused on time management. I naively thought I could and should control what happened to me. That the word "NO" would protect me from bad things that would undermine my grand plan and my mission. Once I learned that the only thing I controlled was my ignorance, I was free. So I abandoned it as a goal when I realized, what a negative thought it is. Saying YES is good. Being open and positive is so much more important to me than the alternative.
It is a a universal truth that you attract to your life what you give time, attention and focus--positive and negative. Say YES to the positive!
The word YES has helped me experience the flow of life that comes my way. It opened my eyes, my heart and my mind to new ideas, people, careers, and opportunities. Most important, it helped me become stronger and better as a person!
In writing this, a friend shared this link with me. Sasha Dichter of Acumen Fund conducted an experiment of just saying YES for 30 days--the generosity experiment.
Warning: for you literalists, I am not talking about hedonism, your unhealthful habits or illegal activity. :) Talking about helping each other.
If you talk to my assistants over the years, certainly my wife, they will concur that my inclination to say YES and agree to things can seem random and overwhelming.
I sometimes get used and abused--that is a risk. Some say I am a sucker, others generous. I never regret it.
Saying YES, and agreeing to do people favors is the currency of karmic capitalists. You learn that the more you say YES the more you get. What goes around comes around and usually it is a quick trip! Not driven by material gains or things, but experiences, new people, perspective, self awareness, getting out of your comfort zone and most important feeling good about who you are! Doing good begets good.
Saying YES becomes a frame of mind. And we all know that to change the game we have to change the frame!
So easy to say NO!
One of the first words our kids learn after "Dada", is "NO". Why? because we say it so often.
The YES philosophy has many consequences. It takes some time and effort to fulfill and deliver on your favors you say YES to. But the upside and return to you is 10x the "cost". Say YES to:
Meeting with people to discuss ideas
Try to avoid the delusion that saying NO is more disciplined and focused as I once did. Try saying YES often if not all of the time. And your heart, your mind, and your soul will gain energy, rhythm, understanding and satisfaction.
Express your gratitude by doing others favors. Do yourself a favor, say YES!
Thanks for reading. John