Three Reasons to Say YES More Often

Recently, several best selling books have touted good reasons to say “yes”.

Shonda Rhimes, talented screenwriter of shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, is a busy introvert, who makes time for her three kids but not for much else socially or for publicity sake. At Thanksgiving, her sister mutters, “You never say yes to anything.” Shonda decides to give it a shot.

We say no out of fear.

We say no out of avoiding inconvenience.

If I don't poke my head out of my shell and show people who I am, all anyone will ever think I am is my shell. - Shonda Rhimes

Reading Shonda’s story can help us see more clearly why we say no. From that, we can decide if we should say yes.

Noelle Hancock uses the story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life at the framework for her book. Eleanor was the wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, president of the United States during the Great Depression and World War II.

But the book is really about Noelle facing one fear a day for one whole year. That could be open mic at the comedy club, swimming with sharks, or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.

If the day was ending, and she hadn’t yet done something that frightened her, Noelle would run down the hallway of her apartment building naked.

When I looked back, nothing was ever as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was usually better than I could have imagined. I learned that we should take each moment both more and less seriously because everything passes. The joyful moments are just as fleeting as the terrible ones. - Noelle Hancock

Noelle’s book feels like a gimmick, but it can be a wake-up call.

What really cool things are we avoiding just because they are a bit hard, or rather scary?

Find Your Joy

Everyone has something that brings them joy.

  • The smell of a freshly bathed baby.

  • A morning run.

  • A cup of gourmet coffee.

On days when everything seems to be going wrong, it’s good for our mental health to have ‘joy’ in our back pocket. Activities that we know will help us cheer up.

  • Two minutes in a yoga child’s pose.

  • Three minutes to clean out your bag.

  • Four minutes to chat with a good friend.

Or the time it takes to dance to a good song.

What song always gets your feet moving and fills you with joy?

Jaw-Dropping Generosity

What would you do if you had a net worth of $5 billion?

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This past weekend, billionaire Robert F. Smith gave about $10 million of his money away. Just like that. No strings attached.

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He surprised the graduating class of Morehouse College in Georgia by paying off all of their student loans.

Watch the faces of the faculty behind him, who had no idea of his plan…

As hard as each of you has worked to achieve what you all have achieved today, you’ve had a lot of help along the way....pay this forward.
— Robert F. Smith

He has given freedom to those young graduates, but more importantly, he spoke of living a life of giving.

We can handle this news two ways. The wrong way, and the right way.

Don’t go the wrong way:

  • Don’t let yourself feel jealous.

  • Don’t fall into a ‘poor me’ mindset.

  • Don’t complain that you never get any good breaks.

  • Don’t whine that if only you had $5 billion, you’d be generous, too.

All of us, every day, must live with generosity and compassion.

How?

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  1. Give away 10% of each paycheck. Yikes! Really??? Yes. Find your favorite charity or church and make this automatic. Or start at 5% or even 1%, getting in the habit of sharing your hard-earned cash.

  2. Give your time. Read a storybook with a toddler. Call your mother. Volunteer at the little league snack bar. Mentor a new coworker.

  3. Use your talents. Can you organize? Write? Cook? Counsel? Drive? Sing?

  4. Smile and look around you. Open the door for someone with their arms full. Share a snack with a coworker who forgot their lunch. Chat with someone who seems lonely.

Your one act of generosity and compassion toward an individual could reach and touch others who you could never have imagined!

No matter what happens in life. be good to people
— Taylor Swift, Singer-Songwriter

I Will Survive

Some songs make you cry.

Some songs remind you of days gone by.

Some songs make you grin and tap your toes. And sing along.

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At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
And so you’re back
From outer space
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me
Go on now, go, walk out the door
Just turn around now
’Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
Do you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die?
Oh no, not I, I will survive.
— Gloria Gaynor, 1979

Great songs get copied and covered and used for movies, TV, and even commercials.

This first example is by The Puppini Sisters, a contemporary group who sing in a 1940’-style three part harmony. I have it on my swing dance playlist!

Here are three examples of I Will Survive used in movies. The first one is from a funny-touching football movie from 2000. The other two, from an animated movie and an Australian movie, I haven’t seen, but are fun in the way they adapt the song to fit the movie.

In case you need more, here is Gloria Gaynor herself singing her song I Will Survive.

What other songs are great as the original and also the copies?

It's the First Day of Spring!

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Does it feel like you are still trapped in winter?

Spring means different things, depending on where you are in the world!

Extreme weather can be exciting - from the warm safety of our homes!