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Yes Man Lesson

December 19th, 2008 by Kevin Ngo

yes manI just saw the movie Yes Man starring Jim Carrey. If you’re a Jim Carrey fan or a fan of comedy or a fan of anything positive, then I highly recommend this movie. This won’t be a review about the movie however and there won’t be any spoilers so don’t worry. I felt it had a great lesson that related to this site so decided to write about it.

The basic lesson in the movie Yes Man is to choose to live life by saying YES to the opportunities that are presented to you regardless of your fears. This isn’t anything new, but I guess it was presented in a way that really got to me. Of course in Yes Man, Carrey’s character just goes overboard but what the movie shows is that when you take more chances, get out of your comfort zone, and throw yourself into new experiences despite any fears you may have, you get to live a happier, fuller life.

You also open yourself up to even more opportunities and experiences. Sometimes you’ll have bad experiences, but often out of those bad experiences you either learn something or it leads you to great experiences you otherwise never would’ve had.

When you learn to say YES to things you say no to but deep down inside want to say YES to, your life will start to take on a new path. As mentioned before, decisions are what shape our destiny. Every decision you make or don’t make will have some effect on where your life will lead.

Letting your fears make decisions for you is a sure way to miss out on life. When we close ourselves to new experiences or just anything out of our normal routine even though deep down we really want to experience it, we do so mainly because of fear; specifically, the fear of not being enough. What do I mean?

  • I’m not interesting enough.
  • I don’t have much to offer people.
  • I’m not attractive enough.
  • I’m not successful or rich enough.
  • I’m not “cool” enough.
  • I don’t have enough experience and don’t want to look stupid, etc…

The fact is that most of what we fear is imaginary. What we are really doing is coming up with excuses to protect ourselves from situations where these things that make us feel we’re not enough get revealed to other people. This is a trap. Why? Because the more you think of yourself as not being enough, the more your mind will search for evidence to back up that belief.

It’s when you start to take chances, risk looking stupid and feeling awkward, and just start seeing the world as a big playground like how we all use to when we were kids, that we can start to fully experience life. I bet you’ll find that when you let loose, let down your guard, and just be your true self, people will find you enjoyable to be around.

Of course you’ll have people who will dislike you, but that’s okay. No one on this planet is liked by everyone. I’m sure some of you reading this dislike Jim Carrey, although I can’t see how… I really can’t.

To be honest, this is something that I need to work on myself. Even when I write these blog posts, I often ask myself if what I’m writing is good enough. Am I a good enough writer to not only keep my readers’ attention but more importantly, write in a way that will have a positive impact on them?

One of my passions besides helping people pursue their dreams is music. I play the piano, a tiny bit of guitar, and can sing decently. I love composing music as well, but if asked to share my songs or even think of playing with “actual musicians”, I always feel I’m not good enough to contribute and that people wouldn’t like the music I’ve created.

I can make all kinds of excuses to validate the way I feel: Only 1 year of formal piano lessons, can’t read notes so just play by ear, my songs are amateurish, and I can really only sing well when it’s a song I’ve sung about a hundred times. And well, quite frankly, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, making excuses.

As I’m writing this, I realize that I have to do something about this. I can’t be writing a motivational blog and do the opposite of what I write. There was a sound recording class I was planning to take but kept pushing back because the students in there seemed to be way more knowledgeable than me. Will I take it now? YES! I have a friend who’s been in a band of his own and thought it’d be cool if we got together and wrote a song. Since I didn’t feel like I was good enough, I just changed the subject. Will I do it now? YES!

You know when a decision is made when you’ve taken a new action. No new action, no real decision made. I will update you in a later post about the experiences I will be having creating and recording music. This should be interesting. Hey, I might actually be bad at it but at least I’ll gain some experience and will definitely get better.

Is there anything you’ve wanted to do but the feeling of not being enough or just some type of fear been holding you back? You’ve got one life to live, one chance to live it as fully as you can. Will you do it?

Yes
It’s not very often that a movie you watch will actually have an impact on your life to the point where you actually make some sort of change instead of just thinking or talking about it. For me, Yes Man was one of those movies. It may not be for you. You might just have a good laugh or not and just go on with your life. You may already be living life fully without fear and something like this post or movie is kindergarten to you. But hey, who knows. Will you watch the movie? As the Yes Man would say, YES!

Until next time…


Love Life. Do Good. Live Well.

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8 Comments

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  1. Very well written article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My friend recommended this movie to be because she said I'm like the character in this movie. And she is correct! It is hard but i will try to say “Yes!” to new opportunities.

    Looks like it has been 6 months since you posted this blog. I hope you had gone forward with the voice recording sessions. Good luck to you.

    1. Thanks Mai. I haven't taken the sound recording class but I have been working on some songs as well as working on some projects to make sure I will have my own recording studio in a few years as well as the time to work on my music. I've also been doing a lot more activities lately simply by saying YES to giving it a try.

  2. Thank you for a very inspiring contribution. It helped a lot in my ministry to the rehabilitation center here in the Philippines. God bless you.

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