I’ve been meaning to avail myself of the seasonal pumpkin spice latte, but when I get to the counter the word “mocha” comes out of my mouth automatically and it’s not until I am waiting for the drink that my eyes wander over to the board that lists the lattes, and I think, oh yeah, I’m meant to try something different.
There are a lot of reasons we may not be open to change. Fear, complacency, tunnel vision… but by limiting ourselves to what we already know, we are potentially closing ourselves off to a lot of new and exciting and maybe even enjoyable experiences. I read a blog post by J.D. Roth about how he decided to spend a month saying “yes” to all the opportunities that came his way. I couldn’t find the original post, but he talks about the concept at his new blog, More Than Money. By challenging himself to his “just say yes” campaign, Roth opened a lot of doors to unforgettable experiences that he most likely would have otherwise turned down or not even considered.
I think the tricky part to vowing to say “yes” more often is dealing with the flip side: learning to say “no.” Want more energy and time to try all the new things you want to say "yes" to? Then say “no” to the things that drag you down, turn you off and burn you out. Of course we all have obligations in our lives that don’t excite us. Life can’t be all fun and sunshine. But if we really examine the drudgery side of our lives we might be surprised at how many of those “obligations” are self-imposed. Maybe we have more leeway to pick and choose how we expend our daily energy than we thought we did.
They’re very small words, yes and no, but very powerful. They can keep us in ruts or open up new vistas for us to explore. The next time
an opportunity comes your way – or an obligation, for that matter – don’t just choose your response out of habit. Think about forging a new path for yourself. You already know where the rut takes you. Where else might you go?
So tomorrow, instead of heading to the coffee shop for my mocha and scone, maybe I’ll branch out and have tea.
Pretty radical, I know.