Say yes to everything, and then nothing

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There is a way you grow as a human being.

It won’t be instantaneous. But you will blossom; I guarantee it. And if that blossoming isn’t immediately apparent, know this: you are most definitely not staying stagnant.

Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

Chinese Proverb

You hear people say you must step out of your comfort zone, that’s how you grow. And it’s true – that’s what I’m recommending.

But I love actionable steps. So here’s the actionable step for you.

Say yes to everything.

In the beginning, if you’re looking to grow as a person, this is the best advice. Yes to everything.

It doesn’t matter if someone’s asking you to a party, or a knitting circle. Yes to everything. I get it, you probably don’t enjoy knitting. But have you ever tried?

So you can kind of assume some activities you won’t like. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them. And at the very least, one, you’ll know for a fact that you absolutely despise knitting because you rocked up at that knitting circle last Tuesday.

Two, how many people do you know that’ve ever been participatory in a knitting circle?

You ask your friend what he did last week. Watched Netflix and took a nap. Cool dude. What’d you do?

Oh, I was chilling at this knitting circle for a bit, then I got bored and me and my buddy left.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what? Knitting circle? Those are a thing? Why did you go, who’d you go with? A knitting circle? Really?

That’s how you have stories.

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Now, this concept is two part.

In the beginning of growing as a person, you need to say yes to everything. It’s required. Because if you’re coming off a sedentary, stay at home, bail on most activities kind of mindset, there can’t be any wiggle room. Because most often, people revert to familiar type when given the choice. It’s human nature. Change is scary, and humans don’t like uncertainty.

But as you follow this rabbit hole of testing your limits, going outside of your comfort zone, something strange will happen.

Your comfort zone expands. And what used to be frightening, is now a relative walk in the botanical gardens. And you start meeting more people, people start asking you to do more things, and pretty soon, you don’t have enough time in the day to please every one.

But warning: don’t cut out saying yes to everything too early. That strategy will carry you for years. For me, I said yes to pretty much everything from seventh grade, up until junior or senior year of high school.

But after a while, you’ll get to a point where you’ll start thinking, I know for a fact this activity doesn’t light my heart on fire. I know I don’t like these things, I know I don’t like those kinds of people.

The important part here, is you know what you like.

And now you implement a concept coined by Derek Sivers called, Hell Yeah or No.

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It’s the idea that everyone becomes over-committed. Everyone becomes scattered and stretched too thin in every direction because we’re all so worried about missing out.

Missing out on whether a party will be fun, whether a work project will be cool to work on, anything.

So we over-commit, and frequently become dissatisfied because most of the things we’re filling our time with? They’re the definition of mediocre. Because we’re scared of missing out.

And that’s how we have mediocre lives. When most of the things in our lives are mediocre.

So, Hell Yeah or No.

If your first impression when invited to do something isn’t a Hell Yeah! then you say no. If it’s a, Eh, maybe it could be fun, then say no. If it’s a, Yeah, that seems pretty cool, no. It’s not pretty cool, it’s a no.

Starting cutting out the mediocre activities in your life, and only say yes to the things you really, really want to do.

But now I have all this free time! Good. Now you have the free time that if something amazing comes up, you’re not going, Shit, but I already committed to my friend’s cat’s birthday party.

You’re going, Fuck yeah, I’d love to do that. What time can I come over?

So, in synopsis; say yes to everything.

And then, when you know what’s mediocre, cut that shit out.

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