More recently than ever I have felt the influence of a certain book taking control of this particular chapter of my life. Shonda Rhimes’ book Year of Yes (link on my Book Recommendations page!) was so good that I find myself thinking about MY Year of Yes.
Although I cannot remember when I decided to start this adventure, it’s not something that I really want to end. What is really important is the challenge, not the time frame.
The basic idea is that you say “YES” to every opportunity that is placed in front of you, no matter how scary, crazy or different it may be. For Rhimes this was because even though she was rocking her career, she was such an introvert that it was easier to stay at home than go out and enjoy her success. I am an extrovert, so being social is in my blood. The reason I am holding myself to this challenge is because it has already expedited my career.
Saying no to opportunities is so much easier than saying yes and then actually following through with your promises. So many times I hear about events to go to or job openings and my first thought is that I am too tired, already have too much going on or would just like to take a personal day.
After saying “YES” to countless things since moving to New York, I can say from experience that this challenge can easily be a blessing or a curse. As amazing as all of the opportunities have been, I have found myself drowning in work on a few occasions. The feeling of gasping for air is never fun, but I always come out stronger on the other side.
Another problem with this plan is that once people (bosses in particular) catch onto the pattern they may start to take advantage of it. This is not them being vicious, they just see someone who is always happy and willing, so that is who they are going to ask when they need work done. I may not be able to juggle tennis balls to save my life, but emails, interns and samples I’ve got down!
There are probably times that I should say no, and I hopefully will start making those exceptions soon, but for now I’m happy to take each job as a learning opportunity. Every day I am doing something I’ve never done before. A lot of times that scares me to death, but I have no choice and it always makes me better at my job.
Until next time, don’t be afraid to dream!