The Opposite of No
Hi everyone. My name’s Steven Lochran and I’m the author of the Vanguard Prime series. I’m also very excited to be Inside a Dog’s resident author/blogger for November.
As thrilled as I was to be offered this opportunity I have to admit that I hesitated a moment in saying “Yes”. For starters, I already have my own blog, where one entry a week feels like an accomplishment. I’m also in the process of writing a book, editing another, getting ready to move house, and organising (well, co-organising) my wedding, which will be taking place at the end of December. So…life is pretty busy.
Would I be able to live up this commitment? Should I very politely and very apologetically decline? Where do ninjas purchase those smoke bombs that allow them to escape without being seen? Could I use one of those to evade the question?
But to say no would be to conflict with a philosophy I’ve been trying to live by ever since my book was published. That philosophy is pretty simple. Whatever opportunity comes up, I have to say “Yes”.
And no, this philosophy wasn’t derived from attending a motivational seminar or from watching a Jim Carrey movie. If anything, it came from playing a game of Monopoly. Let me explain.
I have a friend who’s an actor. We met ten years ago in a play we were both in, back when I still nursed some semi-ambitions about maybe possibly trying to be an actor. While I chose not to follow that particular career path, my friend did. And though many people set out to be actors, he’s actually had success at it, with regular work on TV and in films and doing plays. The reason for that success is simple…I mean, if you set aside his talent and, as one newspaper nauseatingly put it, his “dark good looks”. The reason is that he says “Yes” a lot.
It was a difference in his attitude from mine that I noticed early on, when we were playing Monopoly (I told you I'd explain!). Every piece of property he landed on, he bought. I, on the other hand, was far more cautious, holding onto my money so that I could buy the “better” properties. Before too long, he owned over half the board and I was paying him rent almost every turn. He eventually won what turned out to be the fastest game of Monopoly I’ve ever played/lost.
I always envied him his confidence and seemingly endless energy. But the fact was he was just making the most of the opportunities that presented themselves. So when my own dream came true, with my first book being published in September this year, I made a resolution that I was going to do what my friend does. I wasn’t going to let doubt and uncertainty get the better of me. I was going to say “Yes”.
After all, it’s easy to live a comfortable life. All you have to do is take no chances. But if you want something more than that, then just say “Yes”. And worry about how you’ll make it all work later.
This has gotten way more preachy than I meant my first post to be, so I think I’ll wrap it up here. But before I go, I want to pose a question to you guys; have you said “Yes” to something you didn’t know you could do? That scared you? How did it work out? Let us know in the comments section below!