The magic of saying ‘yes’

One evening, while having a chat over a cup of tea, an ex-colleague suddenly turned emotional. He grew silent for a while and sad. After a few moments, he lamented, “I could never build a house for myself. I was too unfortunate…” Through our long association, I had some idea as to what stood between him and his dream house. But since it would make no difference to him at that stage, I chose to keep mum.

However the issue would not leave my mind. It kept me wondering why some people live their entire lives through a lack of significant achievements, carrying a huge bundle of unfulfilled dreams and laments.

Do you know, why some people are able to achieve so much in life, while others don’t?

Many people, even starting from a scratch, pursuing a modest career, are able to live their lives more or less the way they desire. In due course, they are able to fulfill their reasonable requirements, like a good career, conveyance of their choice, a modest home and so on. Such people live a happy, contented life.

But so many others, live with a bundle of regrets, complaints against everybody and even from life. They live a somewhat detached, uninvolved existence, and by and large, unhappy. Why? They certainly lack something. What is that crucial something? Perhaps they fail to make right choices at the right time and take effective decisions. They fail to say yes to a thing they want very urgently.

Making a decision about something amounts to saying ‘yes’ to doing it. The moment you say ‘yes’ to it, it becomes your target, and once you have a target set, your mind turns to ‘how’, i.e., how to do it.

Nevertheless, many people have desires and dreams and ambitions, but they shirk from setting targets. They choose to follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare’s Hamlet who would think and wish and desire, but won’t act. That is why their dreams remain unfulfilled and mere wishful thinking.

In fact, such people do not know how to go about what they want. The moment they have to make a decision, they seem to press the panic button. They immediately get overwhelmed by fear of obstacles, failures criticism ridicule and so on. Their most natural reaction is usually some excuse, i.e., why this cannot be done. That amounts to saying ‘no’ to an opportunity and shutting the window at it’s face. Their life becomes a pathetic tale of regrets and laments. The most worrisome part of it all is that as they advance in age, their accumulated disappointments turn to frustrations and finally they plunge into the deep pool of depression.

But time passes on. And as it passes, such people are left behind in life, often regretting what they could not do or achieve. Dwelling longer upon their own shortcoming and failures leads to a certain blankness within their mind, an unsatisfying feeling, frustration and so on, which after some time starts showing in their behavior. They turn critical, sometimes jealous of others, especially their achievements. In order to keep themselves up, in the eyes of others, they flaunt their ego. They resort to pompous show offs, being critical, judgmental of others, and such other negative behavioural traits.

As a result, people at large start avoiding such bores which leaves them further isolated, confined to their own selves. They become lonely and loneliness is the cause of many a maladies of mind.

The remedy lies in accepting a thing and saying yes to it rather than no. In the beginning, it may seem impracticable, but conscious effort can certainly make it a reality. To keep track of it, one may practice counting the number of ‘yes’ as well as ‘no’ uttered during the day. That could turn out an eye-opener and provide an opportunity to correct one’s approach towards things crucial to one’s life.

And once a person gets into the right mould and starts saying yes to opportunities, I am dead sure, there would be no looking back in life. Mind you, by conditioning yourself to saying ‘yes’ you open the doors to your happiness, and live your life as you really wish.

Therein lies the magic of saying ‘yes’, isn’t it?

  • Ashok Misra
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