Yes Man (The Book)

“Yes Man” is the story of a man who discovers that he’s not living the way he’d like and after chance meeting with a man on a bus he decides to change his life.  He makes a compact with himself that he’ll say yes to everything – no matter what.  Living in London, he gets asked a lot of questions that he’s forced to say yes to.  This included beggars, people selling things on the streets as well as emails that are obviously scams and the myriad of advertisements he gets exposed to.

He spends a lot of money along the way on things he doesn’t need.  He gets credit cards he can’t afford.  He meets tons of strange and wonderfully bizarre people.  He travels to some exotic places because he can’t say no!  Saying Yes to everything at work leads him into an entirely new career that’s fun, interesting and exciting.  In general, his life turns around and he’s happy – truly, generally, happy.

Looking back on my life (not that I’m old I’m just being philosophical here) I can say I’ve had (and continue to have) some of the best times of my life by saying yes.  Here are some of the memorable highlights:

Want to play football in high school?
Want to go to college in Chicago?
Do you want to use this thing called a Mac?
Do you want to go skydiving this weekend?
Want to join our computer social group?
Do you want to do a big engineering project in Hong Kong?
Want to help teach a kids aikido class?
Do you want to have kids?
Want to stay how with your child?
Do you really want to start a business?
Want to start a professional developers association?

Here’s the money quote for me:
Maybe there’s no such thing as destiny.  There’s just a series of choices we create ourselves.  I guess it’s only when we look at how a No could have changed our lives for the worse that we realize the value of the tiny Yeses that fly at us each day.

I think, for me at least, regret is harder to deal with than failure.  To use a Mythbusters quote:  “Failure is always an option.”  Not that I haven’t had some regrets along the way and would love to go back a few times and say Yes a bit more and No a few times I said Yes, but that’s life.  Life is as good as you let it be.

I probably won’t see the movie.  I can’t see how they can do justice to the book without simply being silly.  And besides, I’m not much of a Jim Carrey fan.