I had a night out last night with my mates for the first time since, well actually I think it’s the first time this year (how sad is that!). Rach also went out with her mates (the ‘school mums’) and we met up at the end of the night and came home together. It’s funny that in 7 years we’ve never actually done that before – usually it’s me staying in babysitting or vica–versa (less so – Rach has got more mates than me). It made a refreshing change. For the first time in a long time I felt high on life last night. It must be because everything’s finally coming together.
There’s also another reason. It may sound silly but I’ve been reading a book in the last week which has had a profound effect on me. The book is Yes Man by Danny Wallace. You know, Danny Wallace – the bloke who’s currently presenting Castaway on BBC1 and did that series on BBC2 last year where he started his own country. Well in this one he basically decides to say yes to everything for a year, saying yes to every favour, request, suggestion and invitation. There’s a bit of background to how it starts and why he does it, but the results are quite spectacular and should be a lesson to us all. It has certainly changed my outlook on life. I know it’s only a book and some of the events may be exaggerated or made up for dramatic effect, but there’s a clear message that begins to appear about halfway through the book – which is by being positive and open to new experiences, in general, good things will happen and you’ll be a much happier and content person.
If you think about it, I bet all the best things that have happened in your life came about because you said yes to something. Like for me, I met Rach and we now have our beautiful daughter because one day 7 years ago I said yes to going out on her work leaving do even though I didn’t really know her at the time. And now, we’re about to start a whole new adventure because we’re opening ourselves up to new experiences and opportunities. It’s a bit extreme, I know, emigrating to the other side of the world, but if you don’t say yes to things, your life will never change. It makes me laugh the number of people who have asked us why we’re moving to Australia. My retort is: why should we not move to Australia?
I’d encourage everyone to take a risk every now and again and try something new, perhaps even something life-changing like we’re doing. After all, is this really the best life is going to get? Don’t you want something more? Don’t you want to experience new places and new cultures?
I appreciate we’re lucky and not everyone has the opportunities we do to make this move. No matter what your circumstances however, I strongly believe life will improve if you take a few risks and say YES. It’s the same with money and business. Most of the multi-millionaire entrepreneurs got where they are today because they took risks and gave it a go. I’ve recently read Duncan Bannatyne’s autobiography: Anyone Can Do It. He built his business group up on the back of spending a few quid on an ice cream van, and then took huge risks quickly expanding his business, nearly bankrupting himself in the process. Anyway, my main point is not about taking risks so much as about saying yes, but I guess the two can go hand in hand. Let’s face it, we say no to things most of the time because we’re either worried about the consequences, or we’re worried about the unknown and the lack of control that saying yes might bring. Sometimes we also say no simply because we can’t be bothered and it’s too easy to say no. For instance, normally, I would have probably turned down the offer of a night out last night. My default position would be I’ve hard a hard week, my train doesn’t get in to late and I just want to chill out in front of the TV. However, I decided to say yes and I ended up having a really good time. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in years.
Say Yes to reading this book, it will change your outlook on life:
Oh by the way, yesterday I still didn’t make the 16:18 from Manchester Piccadilly!