Lessons of Yes

If you follow along on social media and/or participate in our webinar series, you know that we’ve been considering how and why to say yes a bit less. Our webinar presenter Jeffrey Cufaude provided helpful tools that can help us determine when no is the answer. (And let us say, these are tools that we can actually implement – they are that good and that applicable.)

What about when you have cultivated the aptitude to say no? What about when you are ready to say yes?

Saying no, and even saying yes less often, gifts us with the opportunity to say YES to the people, challenges, and opportunities that are most aligned with who we are and who we want to be. When looking to saying yes role models, we’re called to Ms. Shonda Rhimes. Her TED Talk, and to a more comprehensive degree, her book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, welcomed us into her journey – and discoveries – of saying yes.

—shonda rhimes

Although Shonda’s experience was to yes to everything over the course of the year, we have been thinking about how to be discerning when we are in a say yes place. How can we hold saying yes and living our life with purpose and in congruence?

While you craft your “yes” areas, we want to encourage you to do so with purpose. With intention. Here are a few areas that we think offer clarity and encouragement to know what to say yes to.

Core Values
We believe that being a person of integrity is one of the most important ways to be in life. It is one of the most important contributions we can make to our lives and our leadership. When saying yes, consider how congruent the opportunity is to your core values.

Cause & Contribution
We find that people do their best work when contributing to the causes that they care about most. What are you working for and toward when your passions and interests are awakened? Say yes to that. Prioritize that. Be in service to that.

It’s important to clarify that you aren’t asking yourself whether you should care about that thing that has been offered to you. It is not possible to truly and consistently care about every issue we face in the world. Care about what calls to you as deeply as you can and appreciate that someone else cares just as deeply about the things that you aren’t centering.  

Being Your Best Self
Saying yes isn’t only about doing, it is also about being. Direct your yeses to where you can be your best self, contribute your best self, and grow into the best version of you.

With Vigor and Energy
There is an old interview with Ann Richards (former Governor of Texas) where she remarks on how she doesn’t believe we are meant to spend our lives in drudgery. She encourages people to enjoy what they can. We hope you can direct your yeses to the things in life that give you joy! That you can approach with vigor and energy, even if that energy includes a little bit of healthy fear.

Say Yes to No
This one is direct from Shonda (Chapter 11 in her book) and explored in the Say Yes Less webinar. No is a complete sentence. It is ok to say no. It’s helpful to be so connected and intentional with what you say yes to that deciding what to say no to is easy.

Whether you are in a Say Yes Less or Say Yes mindset in life right now, we hope you are intentional about your choices. When you find you are saying yes too often or without intention, come back to this post and find congruence in your yeses again!

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