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A friend offered me valuable advice a few years ago. When struggling with a decision I felt had to be decided right then, she shrugged and said, ‘This isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to say yes! Say ‘yes’ as long as you want to. Don’t try to rush into a decision, just keep saying yes.’

What amazing advice this has proven to be! Keep saying yes. I’ve tried it again and again in these past years and am amazed at the outcome!

In some parts of my life there are people who have constantly said no. No to travel. No to risk-taking. No to change in general, even the simplest of changes. People who have wanted to just live life the same, the easy way, or the no-risk way. But I’ve always fought against that in my own small ways. I’ve adapted my life to be such that allows me to say yes to the things I want to do. I just keep saying yes – – until I have to say no. And when I find myself saying no too often, I switch things up so I can say yes. For example:

It’s not a diet, it’s healthy eating. That’s a yes.
It’s not ‘I can’t afford that.’ It’s ‘I’ll do that later.’ That’s a yes.
It’s not ‘My sales numbers suck.’ It’s ‘I can do better.‘ That’s a yes.

In my travels throughout the world, I’ve joked at other cultures and how they refrain from saying no. In Malaysia it was always yes! Yes, you can make the ferry, they effused! But it was already pushing away from the dock. In Japan, there would be a blank stare, or they’d look away, or they’d change the subject, just so they wouldn’t have to say no. In Morocco, instead of saying no, people I have met will ask questions to get the conversation moving toward yes.

I’m taking a lesson from my travels and trying to say no less often. And yes is just so much prettier to say than…