The Bigger Picture: Say Yes

When my kids were younger, and less independent, every single day was a master juggling feat. Carpools, shuttling across town in LA traffic, homework, doctor appointments, playdates, childcare. I remember making plans with another mom and trying to determine how the logistics would work for that day. Her kids were a bit older and she wisely said to me: “I always just say yes and then figure out how to make it all happen later.”

Wise words indeed.

I immediately adopted her strategy. Let me clarify. You only say yes if you want something to happen (which may seem obvious). And you would never say no just because you cannot figure out how to make it work. You say yes and then you figure it out.

This is how my three kids could be at different schools, with different groups of friends spread out all across the city, involved in a dizzying array of activities and social commitments, weekend retreats, sporting events and appointments.

Can’t this philosophy be applied to other aspects of our lives?

*Taking a big trip
*Switching careers
*Applying to graduate school
*Launching a new business

In the end we only regret the chances we didn't take.

When taking on any new initiative, be it a 4th grader’s after school schedule or launching a podcast, the devil is in the details. Those details are usually impossible to fully predict and plan for. It’s often better to take it one day at a time and figure it out as you go along. It’s far less intimidating and overwhelming that way.

You may be working on publishing a book. But you don’t need to figure out how to distribute the book on day one. You don’t need to ponder how you will find an agent. You don’t need to figure out the cover design. Instead, focus on writing five pages, or two pages, or an outline of the first chapter. You will confront each additional challenge as it arises.

I figure that in life we shoot down a huge percentage of ideas and opportunities because we are not sure how we are going to pull them off. What if we start with the assumption that we can make it happen. The only question is: do we want to?

If you want to do it, then just say YES.
Say yes and figure it out later.

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