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  • Writer's pictureSam

Just Say Yes

The Fastest Way to Change Your Life

If you were to ask me about an event that has changed my life, to be honest, I just couldn’t put my finger on any one thing.

Everything has changed my life in one way or another, and at the same time, I don’t really feel like anything has CHANGED my life. The life I have is just chugging along on its enjoyable, and sometimes hectic trajectory.

But if I really had to talk about something that has changed my life, it would simply be the fact that I have a tendency to say Yes to weird and wonderful opportunities.

That Jim Carey film: “Yes Man,” made this point. Say Yes to more opportunities and you’ll have far more interesting experiences in your life.

So what have I done?

I think that in my 31 years of living I’ve had quite a fun life, so far I:

  • Grew up backstage in a London opera house.

  • I’ve tried a bunch of different careers, pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavor (in progress), worked in zoos & aquariums, worked in research & medicine, worked in retail & fast food, did a bit of event work at festivals, and currently working in education and learning how to teach.

  • I’ve been in bands and performed on stage.

  • Moved across the country on a whim.

  • Successfully completed university with a 2:1 and while there I: -joined the Territorial Army for a year(now Army Reserves) -created a few clubs and societies holding key committee roles that won awards -arranged events with famous(ish) scientists; to list a few.

And those are only the things I’m choosing to share! Haha

I don’t really see my life as anything other than just my life, but some people have told me that they think I’ve done a lot, and to be honest, all I can really say is that I just said “Yes,” to a lot of things.

When something came along I just jumped at opportunities to do stuff. While I was at university there was someone there who asked if I wanted to fit being in the army around my studies; I’d always been interested in the Army so I just said Yes, without really thinking about whether I could fit it in or not, I just guessed that I would figure it out and quit later if it didn’t serve me, and I did! Both of those things in fact!

Why Saying Yes works

The point of the story in the film/book Yes Man was simply that you’ll live a much fuller life if you just say yes to more opportunities that come your way.

Things might not work out well, not all of the things I tried were “successful”, but I learned far more than I could have done had I not tried.

“I’d rather try something than think about it because even if I’m wrong…I’ll find out faster.” — Jim Rohn

I can talk all about the captive animal vs conservation industry, and the process by which new medicines are tested and applied. I can certainly tell you the realities behind both of these fields, the good, the bad, and the mostly grey, and what I’ve learned about the wider world from these things.

I have tried a bunch of careers and found something to pursue that I truly care about but, probably, more importantly, I have learned what it is that doesn’t work for me and why.

Most importantly, what I have learned from saying yes to a lot of things is who I am.

Struggle Makes You

Saying yes to so much has put me under pressure and put me in difficult situations that I’ve had to find my way out of, it means that I know I can rely on myself when the going gets tough and I also have a pretty good idea of what my limits are.

My gut voice, the one that guides us all when the going gets tough, is pretty clear, and to be honest, I don’t know where I’d be without it.

So next time an opportunity comes up, just think about the useful knowledge you might gain, even if you spectacularly fail.

To be honest, my ‘failures’ have led to some of my greatest realisations and knowledge bases, which are actually far more valuable than if I’d succeeded.

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