When I was a senior in college, one of my roommates and I made a pact.
Given the post title, you might be imagining some crazy blood-brother style, spit-and-shake agreement; we were in college at that point…
Alright – enough with the crazy ideas. It wasn’t that kind of pact!
We were both newly single and tired of business as usual, and needed to break out of our respective ruts. We were both upperclass music majors, so we were up to our ears in school obligations. But, despite our otherwise full calendars, we made a decision.
For one whole month, we would both accept every social invitation we were offered.
Every. Single. One.
Now I know that you’re thinking that the two of us were nuts. There was a high likelihood that we would have some negative experiences, and there was a lot of uncertainty as to how the experiment would turn out.
(To be clear, we drew lines – this was more along the lines of saying yes to a date with a guy who wasn’t really our type. Axe murderers and homicidal maniacs need not apply. We weren’t stupid about the way we proceeded with things, and we were sure to take our safety and health into account.)
The result of our month long social experiment?
My first required “yes” was the random non-student at a party who asked for my phone number. I hoped that he wouldn’t call, but he did. We went on a date to a pizza place in town; he had a suspended license, so I had to pick him up; the date was mediocre.
There were a few more instances like this between the two of us, but we also expanded our horizons. We had experiences that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
We attended concerts that we might otherwise have skipped. We joined friends for meals that might have been passed over. We connected with people who we might never have met.
Yes, we both had a few bad dates. However, what we really took away from that month was the power of saying yes.
When we say no all the time, we close ourselves down – seal ourselves away from the world – and we never experience anything new.
While sometimes it’s nice to put on my pajamas, fix my favorite meal and re-watch a movie I’ve seen multiple times, it’s not what I want to spend my life doing.
I usually advocate only doing the things in life that are a “hell yes” – but there’s a caveat.
You might be missing out on a new “hell yes” without even realizing it, if you say no too quickly to an untested idea or experience.
Where is all this going?
My challenge for you this month:
Go out and say “yes” to more new things in your life. If you want to recreate the “month of yes”, I would encourage you to do so (mindfully), and I would love to hear about your experiences.
And, as always, feel free to share your stories with me. I would love to hear how an unexpected experience had an impact on your life!