Saturday, February 2, 2013

I say YES!

 We all grow up and spend most of our lives hearing the word NO.

On average a child hears the word NO 450 times a day; From parents., Teachers, siblings, friends and the media. “No, you can’t have it”, “No, you can’t do it”, “No you can’t play”, “No, don’t touch it!” I guess some times we do have to hear the word NO otherwise we would walk around with burns all over our hands or end up jump into the middle of the road and get run over by a car. But 450 times a day? That is excessive!

Then as young adults we continue to become familiar with this word. Again from those close to us or even total strangers; “No, you can’t go out”, “No I don’t want to go out with you”, “No, you have to do it this way”, “No, you can’t come in, you are wearing trainers!” And as young adults some time we do need to listen to the word NO to avoid ending up with the wrong crowed. But gain, it can be excessive the amount to times we hear this word as teenagers! I suspect it’s higher than when we were kids.

And then we become adults and we embark on our long life journey. And as we grow up professionally, we try to be nice to people, as we don’t yet know how to deal with the adult word, our first managerial lesson we all receive from our boss is “You are going to have to learn to say NO to people!” How many of us have heard this phrase at least once in our career! And if it is not from our boss, we usually get this advice from a friend in the pub after a couple of drink when we have poured our heart out as to how busy we are. They will give us that advice too; “say NO to people”!!!

So the word NO becomes a strong part of our lives and upbringing. And needless to say, it has a massive effect on us; our behaviour, the way we interact with people and how we feel about life! Such negativity can sometimes take over and rule how we go about business, relationships, and friendships and even how we raise our own kids. If you are old enough to have them think about this; how many times have you caught yourself saying, “I sound like my mother!” That can be a massive complement if you turned out all right, but think about the implications sometimes it has on how we raise our kids. I know for sure that often I get pretty close to the 450 mark when dealing with mine! It’s an instinct; some times you can’t help it, because it’s embedded in us, from years of having learnt to use the word NO!

There is good news though. The opposite of NO, of course, is the word YES. And I suspect we also hear this word a lot when we are kids, but probably not as much as NO or at least not as much as we should do. And think about the important impact the word YES can have on us? Think back to your upbringing and how it felt when someone said YES? When you asked for permission to do something and that adult said YES? You almost fell off your chair in shock! Because you knew the usual response was NO! I have sometimes, as guilty as I am for excessively using the word NO, heard my kids start a petition with the sentence “I know you are going to say NO, but…” and that is shocking! More than when I say YES and they are shocked!

And as a young adult the word YES becomes even more scares and a luxury when we get it. Most of us, average looking people, never dared to ask a girl out because “we know she will say NO” or every time we ask permission to go out with our friends we were told “NO, it’s late to go out” And even when trying to get into a place to have a drink, there was a big sign hanging outside with a big fat “NO under 18’s”!

Of course I understand the rules for restricting alcohol to a teenager, but isn’t it a fact that if we say NO makes them drink more? The more people say NO, the more we want it? So why not just say YES and help them learn to use that power of choice on how much alcohol they drink.

And finally, as Adults, the word YES becomes almost a thing of the past! Every time we apply for a job we hear NO! If they write to you, that is! When you apply for a loan, or a mortgage, when you ask for a favour to a friend or ask to have some days off at work; no mater what we ask, we are more likely to hear NO than YES. And when we finally do here that magic word, we feel happy! One of these occasions is usually at our wedding; “YES I do” we hear our partner say and we can’t believe they said yes! And then it all goes down hill... Why? Because we go back to use the word NO!

So this year, 2013, is the year I want to say YES!

13 can be seen as an unlucky number. Most hotels don’t have a room 13, airplanes don’t have seat number 13 and some building will jump from the 12th to the 14th floor. So when I looked at this year and realised it has the number 13 in it, I thought “you know what? This will be my year! My lucky year!”

But if we move to talk about the word LUCKY, we are moving into a territory of many arguments, opening a massive can of worms! (by the way this expression has always baffled me, I have never been in any supermarket where they sell a can of worms, so do let me know where they stock them!) I digress, sorry!

So I then thought about the word LUCK and I understood I did not mean LUCK. I am a great believer that luck comes from within. And it is driven by ourselves providing opportunities, and this opportunities in turn occur as a result of our attitude and this attitude is driven by self believe and positive thinking. And positive thinking, of course, comes from using the word YES!

Now, remember that in this life, it’s all about choices and we all have the freedom to choose. With this in mind, I have chosen 2013 not as my LUCKY year but the year I say YES! I have chosen to drive everything I do with the world YES!  And everything I do, no matter what it is, I will do it with YES! This will be my year of YES!

Does this mean I will say YES to everything? Of course not! I don’t do drugs and I will say NO to watching Big Brother and listening to GangNam Style any more! You’ve got to draw the line somewhere!

But I’ll tell you what it means to me; YES stands for “Year of Excellence and Success”

My mission and vision for 2013 is to do everything with YES! (in other words, do everything with Excellence and Success) I want to excel in everything I do, no matter what it is, personal or professional. I want to succeed in everything I do, no matter if it is big or small. I want to do my outmost on everything I drive, interesting or not. I want everything around me to be great, in good and bad times. I want every challenge I take to help me better myself, whether I succeed or fail. And I want this year, and possible for the rest of my life, to live with a YES attitude, and attitude that tells me “YES you can!” “YES you may!” “YES it’s yours” “YES and a hundred times YES”

Nothing in life is impossible, nothing in life is unachievable, we have the power to say YES, and we have the choice to live our lives with Excellence and Success!

Aim for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll still be amongst the stars!

Enjoy your own year of YES!