Want to know the secret password for fearless living? Yes of course you do!
Yep. That’s all you have to say.
YES might not rack up game winning points on a Scrabble board, it’s small and being mono syllabic it doesn’t give the impression of great intellect or wisdom. Or does it? YES, while it can be a little unassuming and fall below the radar it’s one big, bold, courageous word.
Years ago (in my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s) I worked as an actor in television. In this (often) madcap world I was introduced to the always surprising world of IMPROV and the ultimate power of YES.
IMPROV is the creation of a scene, on-the-spot in real time. There’s no preparation, no script, no lines to learn and no rehearsal. It all comes down to what happens in the present moment. Actors must stay open and fully engaged in the now. Awareness heightens to the max as everything comes into sharper, clearer focus. It’s exhilarating.
There’s a catch.
IMPROV only works when an actor says YES to whatever they are given. The all important YES, is what allows the scene to progress and move into the rich land of creation where golden nuggets live. Without YES the IMPROV stops, shuts down and goes nowhere. Game over. An opportunity missed.
I stopped testing my IMPROV chops in a theatrical setting a long time ago but I did adapt the power of saying YES to work in education, corporate development as well as my own life. I know that wherever YES goes, fulfillment, action and fearless living follows. YES became a metaphor for Life.
There are others on the YES train
In 2013 Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, threw his support behind saying YES, when he delivered the commencement address at the University of California at Berkeley.
“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country. Say yes to meeting new friends. Say yes to learning a new language, picking up a new sport. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job. Yes is how you find your spouse and even your kids. Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means you will do something new, meet someone new, and make a difference in your life, and likely in other’s lives as well…Yes is a tiny word that can do big things. Say it often.”
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH YES
When I say YES I come alive. It forces me to be present and in-the-moment. I feel strong, capable and open for adventure. When I revisit the times I’ve said no, I see that I have chosen safety and smallness over adventure, risk and growth. I don’t know about you but that’s not how I want Life Part II to be lived. I want life to be expansive, rich and full. I want to become all I was meant to be. I want to live fearlessly every day.
EVERYTHING GREAT STARTS WITH YES
When I reflect back to all the great experiences in my life they all started with a YES. This includes buying the red shoes which led to the red shoe project, the creation of this website and the adventure of building the Red Shoe Zone community. Unequivocally, YES, the Red Shoe Zone has far exceeded anything I could possibly have imagined.
YES FOR 30 DAYS
I’m conducting an experiment. Actually it’s the second time round. The first time was 2 years ago and the outcome was unbelievable. Here’s the deal – I will say YES for 30 days. I began yesterday when I said YES to going to a friend’s friends’ gallery opening. Not only was the exhibit interesting and highly innovative it sparked a number of ideas for Red Shoe. I saw 5 people I knew two of whom I hadn’t seen for 10 years. I met a woman who likely will be a future IN HER SHOES story. All because I said, YES! I’m keeping a record of my 30 days so I’ll let you know how it turns out and where its’ taken me!
What can you find to say YES to? Willing to give it a go for 30 Days?
“How can you know what you are capable of if you don’t embrace the unknown.” Esmeralda Santiago