Have you ever seen “Yes Man?” It’s a Jim Carrey rom com from the 2000s. He plays a miserable man named Carl whose negative attitude pushes people away. The character agrees to attend a self-help seminar where “the power of yes” is emphasized. Magically, Carl is unable to say no after the seminar. Even when he desperately wants to decline, the hex put on Carl makes his mouth say “yes” against his will. When a homeless person asks him for money, he says yes. When someone asks him to volunteer, he says yes. When he’s asked to do a crazy spontaneous thing, he says yes. It’s a wreck at first, but (in true rom com fashion) it all works out in the end.
“No” is easy. It’s comfortable and low-risk to politely decline and retreat into the comfort zone. I got asked on Thursday to go to a Mets game on Friday. It was a blackout game, and they give out free black t-shirts to the fans. No notice, not much time to think, just a matter of “yes” or “no.”
I live pretty far from Citi Field, so my first instinct was apprehension. Am I a little embarrassed to admit that I actually learned something from a 2000s rom-com? Of course. BUT, I thought about “Yes Man,” and I said I’d go. Spoiler: I had a blast. It’s true that every memory and every success story starts with a “yes.” What are you going to say “yes” to?