Monday, August 15, 2011

Say Yes! But, Uh, Only If You Really Want To...

Last night I had the pleasure of watching the 2008 movie "Yes Man" for the first time.

I know that I'm probably the one that is a bit behind on the times, but for those of you may not know (Mom, I'm looking at you), this movie stars Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel and consists of Jim Carrey's character saying "Yes" to every single proposition that comes his way in an attempt to get his life back into gear. As you can imagine, this results in him getting himself into quite a few pickles but he also has some pretty terrific adventures, like learning to fly a plane and meeting one heck of a moped-riding songwriter/running photographer.

The film is actually based on the book, of the same title, by British comedian Danny Wallace. It recounts six months that he spent "saying Yes where once I would have said No" in order to be more positive and put some spice back into his life.

I don't know about you, but I am kind of in love this idea. How many times in our lives do we say "No" to something simply out of fear? Then, after the fact, you regret not agreeing to whatever it was that you turned down. How many adventures have I missed out on because of this?

However, let me counter this by saying that I am also a recent fan of the "No Movement". While I have missed out on things in the past as a result of saying "No", there have also been too many times in my life when I have said "Yes" to people when I really did not want to. Look up the definition of "people-pleaser to a fault", and you will find a picture of me. Bottom-line: don't say "No" to something out of fear, but more importantly, don't say "Yes" out of fear either.

I think there is a lovely balance to the "Yes Movement" and the "No Movement". Zooey Deschanel's (also, let me just confess, here and now, that I have huge crush on her in a I-really-really-wish-you-were-my-best-friend kind of way) character explains it best with the line: "The world's a playground. You know that when you are a kid, but somewhere along the way everyone forgets it."

Think about it, as kids, decision-making consists mainly of "Am I going to have fun doing this?" rather than "Do I have time for this? Do I have enough money? Is this the responsible thing to do? Will someone get mad at me?" Thus, I think it may be time to remember again how "the world's a playground".

Ready for the take-away message?

Do what you want to do. Not anyone else. But try to surprise yourself once in awhile by going out of your comfort-zone. Life is too short to not go out and play on the playground every now and then.

So the mission for the week, yours and mine (should we choose to accept it), is to say "Yes" to something that we may not normally would have. But only if it is what you really want.

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