The power of YES
And how saying yes can help you find your purpose.
If I asked you to tell me two important events in your life, what would your answers be?
Would they come easily to you? Would you be proud of your answers? Would you wish your answers were more interesting? Would you want to know my answers first? Would you need to get back to me?
I was recently reviewing a registration report for an annual event I have planned 16 times before. For whatever reason, it was this day that I took notice of one of their registration questions…
“List two important events in your life.”
Curious, and just plain nosy, I scrolled down the list to see the participant’s answers. Reoccurring themes – marriage, the birth of kids, fun concerts, travel, run-ins with famous people…It got me thinking…what would mine be?
I put particular emphasis on the word IMPORTANT.
Central. Significant. Critical. Key. Essential. OF GREAT MAGNITUDE. Thank you thesaurus for adding to the stress and anxiety I already felt over this question.
Yes, I am married. Yep, he’s great. 9 years of marital bliss. Yes, I have 3 kids. Yep, they’re great too.
Is it wrong that I didn’t want these to be my two choices? Maybe, I can just combine them into one and then I still have one left….Can I have 5? Can we make it professional events? Do they need to be recent? WAIT, WHO AM I ANSWERING TO???
The question really struck a nerve. For days I could not come up with my ‘perfect’ answer to this hypothetical question. I was resolved to get some answers, but with that came even more questions. What type of answers deemed worthy? And why hadn’t I done those things?
My mind reeled at all the things I wanted to accomplish. I grabbed a pen and wrote them down…places I wanted to travel, experiences and adventures I wanted to have, professional accomplishments, famous people I wanted to meet, items I wanted to own, relationship & family goals.
I deemed this my “year of yes”, modeled after the Jim Carrey “Yes Man” movie, where he has to say yes to everything, instead of saying no all the time.
I wasn’t going to let anything get passed me.
That was until, my very in-shape iron-man qualifying bestie asked if I would go to Napa with her to celebrate her birthday, oh AND RUN a 13.1-mile race. Come on, she said, IT WILL BE FUN!
I had a million excuses. The biggest being, I hate to run. Hesitantly, I stayed true to my commitment and I said YES. It might have been more like an “ugh, FINE.”
This past weekend I completed that half-marathon. After I crossed the finish line, my friend asked: “how did it feel?” I cried. Balled really, and not just from pain.
This goal was more than just completing a really really REALLY long run. It was three months of faithful training, despite my travel schedule, not being in shape, starting a blog, having 3 kids, a household to run, and a fulltime job. It was not giving up and quitting when it hurt or was too hot, or the hill was too steep, or after you accidentally knock yourself out after smacking your head on your granite kitchen island AND kick a shopping cart and lose your toenail the week before the race. #truestory
Eleanor Roosevelt once said,
“You must do the things you think you cannot.”
I see the why and enormous power in these words in this moment. If I could do this, despite it all, I could do anything.
And so, I will.
I think we have what they call, an important life event folks, boom! Let the YES journey continue.
Alright, I bought you some time, what are your two important life events?