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Posts from by Lach Ryan

Blackframes is the writing of Lach Ryan


Saying Yes more

Lach Ryan

Some people have to write things down to remember them. 

For me, I have to write things out to make sense of them.

Lately, I have been trying to remember to say 'Yes' to more things. Yes, Yep, Yeah, Yup, OK, Sure, Cool. That sort of thing.

I read recently about a woman who spent a year doing this and ended up having a really great and interesting twelve months. So good in fact, she wrote a book about it. I have had a few good years in my thirty-odd on this earth, but none so good that they deserve a book. I suppose 2007 and even 2011 could push for a long form essay, but not a novel.

I came to thinking this 'Say Yes More' stuff may be a good idea after I realised I had unknowingly tried it out towards the end of last year. The mindset during this period saw us buy a puppy and book a trip to Bali- both of which turned out to be hugely expensive but greatly rewarding decisions. 

At the time we thought it was just about biting off more than we could chew, then chewing faster. Looking back I think it may have been as simple as just saying yes. I shouldn't have been surprised as saying 'Yes' had worked well in the past and can be credited with me changing to a skinny cut jean, and embracing both coriander and mushrooms.

So now I've started to do say 'Yes' more , which has just led me to accepting a new job. Who knows where it could land? 

I expect it will probably mean I will end up eating more food at those taste tester stations they pop up in supermarkets, but at the other end of the scale I could end up travelling by commercial fishing boat to the Philippines to deliver a package from an Australian e-Commerce retailer who doesn't ship outside the country but a wealthy Philipino industrialist wanted really wanted that limited edition piece from the collection of that girl who won Masterchef, so he paid me to deliver it. I could even end up on Masterchef! I could even end up as a Masterchef winner doing guest appearances at supermarket taste tester stations plugging my brand of canned beans!

Please know that my take on this is to say 'Yes' more often, but not to everything. That would be crazy and could see me spending my days completing surveys online, talking to those kiosks people in shopping centres and looking at the rock in the pocket of that weird lady who lives down near the park where I walk the dog. Worse still I may actually watch Star Wars.

Another thing I recently read about was a study that showed the key to happiness in life is lowering your expectations. This just sounds like the type of advice handed out by aunts at BBQs to single women in their 30s or a the prologue to any movie these days that stars Adam Sandler.

Apparently we in the west have such high expectations that it contributes to our high levels of depression and dissatisfaction. I was talking with some friends who spend time in Africa for their work and they mentioned how the kids over there seem much happier and content than those back home. I reasoned that could it be there expectations are lower? Closer to reality? 

Keeping this all in mind, I figure that if I can try lowering my expectations more, maybe I'll be happier. I think that saying 'Yes' causes you to end up in places that surprise you - like a road trip to Canberra, a place where even the free availability of fireworks fails to make it more interesting than a roundabout (of which it has surplus amounts leftover from the great roundabout infrastructure splurge of 1967).

Surprises create happiness. Life is in the unexpected. 

Like the birth of a child a few years earlier than planned. Finding ten bucks on the road. A good coffee in small town with a great view. A killer conversation. Discovering a new band on the radio while stuck in traffic. 

Saying 'Yes' takes you into the unexpected. You can't have high expectations of something you know nothing about, but you can be surprised by it. Like Argentinan Nu Folk Metal.

My theory is that doing new stuff through saying 'Yes' more leads to increased happiness. Let's see how that pans out.

Note: This post may read like the type of self-actualisation positivity propaganda that a medical admin officer dreaming of starting his 'Craft for Cats' web business would eat up like free camembert on a wafer biscuit, but as I said at the start; this is more about me writing it out to figure it out!