If You’re Not Saying ‘Yes’ To Life, You’re Saying ‘No’

Steve Jurvetson
Steve Jurvetson

A couple months back, I was having dinner with two of my friends at a place I had never been to. As we were finishing our pizza and getting ready to conclude the night out, I made a declaration: “I’m going to leave my number for that cute bartender.”

It was out of nowhere to them (I, however, had been thinking about it for about an hour). But, they encouraged my confidence anyway and made sure I followed through.

After I completed my terrifying mission, I felt an insane rush of adrenaline, paired with the kind of liberation that only comes from seizing life in a new way. I knew that no matter what came of this, I was happy I did something different–I was happy I said “yes” to life.

Why is this anecdote relevant?

Typically, I am a “no” person. “No, I’m going to stay home and watch Netflix tonight while I eat hummus for a consecutive hour,” or “No I have to work early in the morning and don’t want to be too tired,” sometimes I even just go straight at it and say “No, I don’t want to do that.”

Regardless of my “reasoning,” more often than not, it’s just an excuse I hide behind to stay comfortable with what I know.

What did I do about it?

I’ve never been into committing to New Year’s resolutions, giving up things for Lent, or declaring any major life goals I won’t actually execute.

Primarily, this was because I couldn’t find that perfect thing to either really do, or completely cut out of my life. I love chocolate, I hate working out, and saying curse words is inevitable when you’re dealing with being in your twenties–those are the go-to options for people trying to turn things around, usually.

It was also because I never saw the point in participating. Which is ironic, because that in itself was me saying “no” to things again.

So, I decided I would try saying “yes” to things this year, hence my previous tale. This may not sound like a big, or difficult commitment, but for me, it was a huge step.

Now, when a friend asks me to grab a beer after a meeting, I say “yes.” If someone wants to go to a concert on a school night, I say “yes.”

If a food I normally don’t like is presented to me, I say “yes” and try it anyway.

I may not go jump out of a plane or jet off to Puerto Rico tomorrow, but I would definitely consider saying “yes” more than I would have three months ago, and that’s an incredible feeling.

Turns out, life is worthing giving a chance. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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