Where’s Your YES?

I was listening to “The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance” on Audible the other day (that’s how I digest 1-2 books a week while working 12 hour days) and suddenly felt like I’d been hit by a Mack Truck.

This book is all about flow, that optimal mental state where you lose yourself in a task, time slows down, and your sense of self disappears while increasing connection with everything else. If you’ve ever gotten lost in a conversation only to realize hours have passed that felt like seconds, you’ve been in flow.

Cooking is one of my favorite activities that immediately takes me into flow. I rarely plan out what I’ll make before entering the kitchen. Instead, I begin with fresh, top quality ingredients, start prepping, and completely give myself to the moment. Thought, analysis, and reason are unnecessary in this experience. Only listening to that inner voice whispering, “Parsley,” or “Ginger,” or a vision of, “Blueberries.” It’s never wrong and always delicious.

The cool thing about flow is that we don’t have to wait for it to happen to us (you might be waiting awhile if you do… kind of like waiting on the UPS man to sweep you off your feet and ride off on the white horse… ain’t gonna happen). We can almost guarantee flow experiences when we structure our life around some proven principles.

Choosing Yes

“Choosing Yes” is what hit me like a Mack Truck. In improv, the fundamental rule is to always build, grow, and expand. Always assume whatever is possible and just go with it.

For example, if I came up to you and said, “There’s a talking raccoon in the bathroom,” and you said, “Raccoon’s can’t talk,” that would be an example of Choosing No. You immediately denied the possibility, shut the conversation down, and the moment goes nowhere.

Instead, if I said, “There’s a talking raccoon in the bathroom,” and you said, “Oh, yeah! Met her last night. She asked me to lunch,” we have a YES and an opening for the moment to build, grow and expand. THIS could be interesting.

Read (or listen) to the book for the full spiel. You won’t be disappointed (I’ll listen to it 3-4x in a row, I’m sure).

 

How often do we say we want to live a full, rich, adventurous life, but then say NO to the opportunity?

It might go something like this:

  • Your friend says she wants a healthy relationship that will lead to a solid marriage, but keeps picking up guys in seedy bars?
  • You say you want more adventure, but every time a friend asks, your week has been too busy to go out ‘cuz you’re just too tired.
  • You say you want more intimate conversation with your spouse, but whenever s/he tries to start a conversation, you answer “yes/no” and shut down?
  • You say to want to contribute and volunteer, but you’re just so busy you never find the time.

The rationalizations in our head are all spot on. We ARE busy and tired. We HAVE been hurt in the past. We AREN’T 100% after another crazy week.

But you know what, buttercup? Life is more full when we take more chances, love more deeply, and align our behaviors with what we say we want.

What do you think would happen if, every time thought ‘No,’ you said YES instead?

 

What’s your FAVORITE experience that takes you into flow? Do you find yourself saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes’ to yourself? It’ll be interesting to see what people have to say on this. I know I was blow away when I looked at my own life. Share yours in the comments below.

 

Because I guarantee you’re capable of 10x, 20x, 100x more than you think.

 

Butter love,

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