Sunday, June 28, 2009

Curious about the Power of “Yes”: One Three Letter Word that Can Make a Difference in Our Lives, Our Careers, and So Many More Ways

Too many of us fail to fulfill our needs because we say no rather than yes, or perhaps later in life, yes when we should say no.” - William Glasser, American psychologist

The oldest, shortest words - 'yes' and 'no' - are those which require the most thought.” – Pythagoras, Greek mathematician

I chose the word “Yes” for this week’s theme, because I realize that I have always been quick to say, “Yes” when asked to take on a job (usually non-paying). I realize that even though a lot of these “yeses” have brought me a network of friends and a huge amount of learning and experiences, I need to take a bit more time and thought before jumping to a yes answer.

Do you, like me, have a problem with saying, “No”? If you do, you probably have also experienced that uncomfortable feeling of overwhelm. It is hard to say no, but often it is the best choice.

Another area where the power of yes is important is in sales. As a sales person – and we are all sales persons whether we accept it or not – if we have a “Yes” attitude it will rub off on our clients and prospective clients. It has been known in sales that if you can get the prospect answering, “Yes” many times, he or she will be ready with a yes when asked to buy.

In marketing, it is also suggested that we include “Yes” in our headlines and titles. I am going to test it in several of my sales letters and e-book titles.

I was amazed to find 14 pages of quotations using “Yes”, so here are a few:
  • When people ask for time, it's always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn't take half as long to say.” - Edith Wharton, American author
  • A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” - Mohandas Gandhi, Indian leader
  • When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway.” - Erma Bombeck, American journalist
  • The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” - Tony Blair, British statesman
  • Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady
  • Learn to say 'no' to the good so you can say 'yes' to the best.” - John C. Maxwell, American clergyman

And, of course, I especially love this next quotation by Jack LaLanne, American athlete, “Yes, exercise is the catalyst. That's what makes everything happen: your digestion, your elimination, your sex life, your skin, hair, everything about you depends on circulation. And how do you increase circulation?”

So, if you say “Yes” to anything this week, month and year, it should be exercise!