Recently I watched “Yes Man” and thought about my life. In the movie, Jim Carrey says no to everything and he’s miserable. He attends a motivational speaker’s seminar where he is somewhat brainwashed into saying yes to every question. Suddenly, his life turns around.
I am a no person. I say no to almost everything. I work and I go home. There are a hundred reasons why I can’t go out (I don’t like the bar scene), go to a movie (I have to drive to Cody), go to dinner (I don’t have any money), attend a festival (I have to work), or travel (I have to take care of the dogs). There are a billion reasons why I have work related friends, but no close personal friends (my house is a mess, I have to work, I need to mow the lawn, I’m tired, the dogs won’t like you). All of my negative responses are well justified.
I am happy, don’t get me wrong, but what would happen if I said yes to a few things? Would my life change for the better or would it get more complicated? Am I stuck in a rut or am I comfortable with my seemingly dull existence? Would there be joy in my life or would I be pulled in too many directions?
The moral of the movie was that you have to learn a balance. You can’t say no to everything, but you can’t say yes to everything either. There has to be some logic and common sense to your affirmative answers.
It is easier and safer to say no. When my kids were young and wanted to do something, I would ask myself, “What will it hurt?” if the answer was “nothing”, I approved. If the answer was, “Well, that will be a quick trip to the ER, ” I said no. Maybe that should be my guide: If I might end up in jail or the ER, the answer is no. Everything else is a thumbs up.
How do the nos and yeses add up in your life? Do you have a balance or are you lop-sided?