When I look back on a lot of the exciting times in my life, I realize that a lot of those moments have one thing in common: they were never the easier things to do. There are always a thousand and one reasons to not do something, but usually only one or two to do something. I’ve noticed that the things that we risk on usually have a better pay off than the things we play conservatively.
Life is not like a casino, the house doesn’t always win.
A lot of of are afraid of saying yes to things because we are afraid of rejection or failure. But it is no secret that without these moments where we want to say no that there would be no great things in life. If we always said no, we would be afraid to change and afraid of new things. I heard once that the children who came from families who ate home cooked meals on a regular basis are more likely to try new things, in terms of food, than from children from families who did not cook. This is proved true in my life having not been cooked for growing up, I have about a 2-3 entree’ selection from every restaurant that I usually stick to. I don’t like a lot of different sauces or fancier foods, this can all be traced back to never being introduced to anything newer than a flavor of Hamburger Helper.
I bring up that analogy to say that it is important for us to introduce new ideas into our brains. What if you took a class on something you weren’t familiar with? Attended a seminar in something you care little to nothing about? What if you bought a different brand of deodorant or toothpaste? Little changes in your everyday routine often lead to big time changes in your life. It may be something little like looking up a recipe for cookies online instead of buying break-and-bake, but you might discover something about yourself, baking, or some other random thing you had no clue about. Play with toys, make skyscrapers out of Legos. Don’t just buy a sock monkey, make your own.*
The beautiful thing about creativity is that is always changing and moving. Artists can stay put and let creativity flow through them for a season, but it they don’t pick up their sticks and move with it then in will pass them and they will spend their next season catching up. Since I am an advocate of everyone being creative, it is your job (more like a duty to yourself) to ensure that you are constantly moving with the tides of creativity. Think of the most ridiculous thing possible, and instead of rejecting your idea, figure out a way to accomplish it.
So I challenge you the next time someone asks you to do something that your immediate answer is no to, think about it before you answer. Question why you are declining. Is it because this activity is out of your comfort zone? Is it because you are being lazy? Is it because you can’t handle another activity on your plate?
I know of this one guy. I know of him because I see him everywhere. I saw him perform spoken word poetry at an art show, I’ve grappled with him at during an MMA workout, and he drives a school bus, among other things. I think that this guy gets it because he isn’t afraid of saying no. He isn’t afraid of continuing his knowledge, regardless of school knowledge he isn’t afraid of learning more about himself and pushing himself to the next level. He doesn’t see someone participating and say, “That would be cool to do.” instead he asks of himself, “How do I do that?”
So the next time you want to say no, figure out why you are saying no, and maybe say yes instead. Need a little help? Google some local classes in your area, cooking, painting, creative writing, etc. Go!
* A great resource for tinkering and DIY things is www.instructables.com
Buy my new book, “Definitive Blurs”.