YES

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag…?”

Skip.

“Yo I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want”

Skip.

“Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me”

Skip.

I THINK I HATE EVERY SONG


Thank you for reading an excerpt from my life. Perhaps it resonates with you because you encounter the same dilemma when you plug your electronic music box into your vehicle’s stereo only to discover there is not a single song in the world you want to hear. In fact, the more you skip from song to song, the less you listen. Album cover after album cover swipes by in a colorful fury until you surrender to the lord of DJs and sob quietly into the reusable grocery bags you keep on the passenger seat.

Making choices can be hard. Some days you know exactly which pair of shoes match your brown corduroy pants and other days no clothes match, you don’t know what you want to have for lunch, and every radio station sucks.

The woes of being human.

Despite the kind of Wednesday I’m having, I end up at my improv class. When we start warming up or doing other improv stuff (official certified improv terminology™), we all need to be in “yes” mode.

Improvising scenes and characters is all about the accepting what others have offered–saying “yes.” If someone informs you that you are driving a city bus, you are. If someone tells you the enemy soldiers are intruding, they are. Denial by doing or saying otherwise kills a scene. 

For example, here are two ways a little scene could go down:

Scenario #1

Bill: Jeremy! Stop looking through my trash can. Get back on your side of the fence, neighbor.

Jeremy: I heard you stole my croquet set and broke it and here is the evidence! You broke this mallet because you didn’t get to host the neighborhood block party this year!

Bill: Look, Jeremy, you know I needed to host the block party to boost my self-esteem. I am but a mere fragile man.

Scenario #2

Bill: Jeremy! Stop looking through my trash can. Get back on your side of the fence, neighbor.

Jeremy: This isn’t a trash can and I’m not your neighbor. I’m Zurg from Toy Story 2.

Bill: …

Jeremy/Zurg: …

Audience: …

I like to think one of these versions is better than the other (even if you really like Zurg from Toy Story 2 #greatestvillainofourgeneration). Why? Because going along with what is established is important. Saying “yes” to the idea is all it takes. You can put a fun spin on what has been established but you shouldn’t outright deny what has been established.

This is what I am going to call the “Yes Attitude.” Maybe I’ll write a book on it. Who am I kidding? A blog is as much as anyone wants to read.

Now here is where we connect the dots: You need to say “yes” to your day.

I understand no one is accusing you of breaking your croquet set when you step outside in the morning, but there are plenty of choices headed your way: which shirt to wear, what cereal to eat, how you want to do your hair, etc.

If you begin your decision-making process by saying “no,” you are entering the “no” attitude rut. We’ve all been there and it sucks. If you start your decision-making with a “yes,” you are putting yourself in prime position to accept what comes your way. Even if you say “yes, good shirt, but I would prefer to wear a different shirt with these pants,” you are putting the “yes” spin on the situation.

Having a “yes” attitude will inspire more musical openness when you turn on your tunes. It will help you collaborate with a difficult coworker or allow you to try new foods. “Yes” attitudes may even lead to world domination. Who knows its bounds?

One thing is for sure: saying “yes” opens more doors than saying “no” ever could.

Disclaimer: I feel it necessary to bolster the reputation of “no” after hyping up its antonym with my utmost enthusiasm.

“No” is an important word in every language. We all have a word for it and it is always a snappy piece of vocab because there are many times “no” needs to be said/yelled in a jiffy.

“No” is a great word if someone asks you if you want to skydive without parachutes. Maybe your kid wants the 50 lb. teddy bear on sale at Costco and you need to give them the look accompanied by a “no.” The engineer on the other side of the control room is about to push a button that will shut down airflow on the International Space Station–give ’em a terse “NO.”

Life is about having a yes-attitude rather than a no-attitude. Thus, you can freely use “yes” and “no.” Just understand the importance of which word comes first when you roll out of bed.


Consumption Junction

This is the fun part of my blog where I share what content I love. My hope is that you will love some of these things as much as I do. My other hope is that you never tell me if you dislike the things I love because I would take it very personally.

  1. This Cultural Moment podcast – John Mark Comer and Mark Sayers- Two dudes sitting in a basement diving into the heart of the state of society. This podcast blows my mind every time I listen. Listen here.
  2. Josh Garrels – Spotify just let me know Josh Garrels was the #1 artist I listened to this year so I am obligated to share this information in Consumption Junction. Garrels lives in Portland and makes good music. Need I say more?
  3. Christmas music – YES PLEASE. LIKE ALL OF IT.
  4. The Blazers – Are the Blazers content to be consumed? Yes. Am I content? No. Such is the life of a Portland Trail Blazer fan. But at least they’re trying, Jennifer.
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