be a ‘yes man’

by

All too often in life we encounter people who try to crush our dreams. All too often in life we inadvertently crush our own dreams. We do this because we’re afraid. Of failure. Of change. Of embarrassment. Of someone telling us we’re not good enough.

But there comes a time, there comes a place, when this simply will not do. When confronted with a time and a place such as this, it’s time to say “screw it” and start being a ‘Yes Man.’

be contentious

Simply put: there are too many people in the world who don’t follow their dreams. Innumerable excuses exist as to why:

  • It’s too hard – I can’t do it
  • It will take too much time – time that I don’t have
  • There’s too much risk involved – what if I fail?
  • I don’t have the money – it costs too much
  • I make a lot of money – why would I want to leave?
  • I have a family – I have to focus on them
  • I don’t want to fail – people will laugh at me
  • I’m too old – I can’t change now
  • More bullshit
  • Even more bullshit

All of these excuses (because that’s what they are) resonate with the same complacency we see every day. Vacant stares. Going through the motions. Minds everywhere but here.

And yes, people probably will laugh at you when you fail. Not “if” you fail, but “when.” Because understand: You. Will. Fail. Now move on. Because when they laugh at you, when they sling their silent barbs and their mockery, when they tell all their friends you’re no good and everyone wonders why you even tried, you can laugh right back and tell them, “I’m not done. This is but a stepping stone. You are but a stepping stone. And you will watch as I crawl, tooth and nail, above and beyond you, accomplishing my dreams in the face of adversity, in the face of fear, in the face of all those who tell me ‘No’.” (you probably shouldn’t literally say this to them . . . might sound weird)

Embrace this battle. Embrace this discontent. And whatever you do, do not submit. “When you submit in spirit to aggressors or to an unjust and impossible situation, you do not buy yourself any real peace.” (from The 50th Law). Defy them in your own way and you will overcome.

Be contentious about issues like this that matter, issues that concern your dreams and ambitions. And sometimes, for the fun of it, be contentious about issues that don’t matter, simply to stir up some cognitive dissonance within others. Do something because someone says it can’t be done. If they’re smart, maybe you’ll shake them out of their own apathy.

If you don’t believe me, listen to some dead guy: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Stephen King was denied publication for his novels 29 times. James Joyce 33. But they fought. They said, “Yes, my work is good.” And they won.

However, in the light of all of the above, please avoid the whirlpool of idiocy this can sometimes generate:

  • Don’t say yes to projects that, in your gut, you know you don’t want to or shouldn’t do
  • If what makes you come alive is chopping down trees, killing puppies, or driving a Hummer that gets 9 miles to the gallon, you may want to rethink what makes you come alive. Others, and the environment, cannot be ignored
  • Don’t do something simply to get a rise out of someone. Have a reason. An excess of heated emotion does not a good compatriot make

be content

Throughout all this, we must feel the discontent brewing within us. Feel the dissatisfaction with the status quo, with the relative comfort in which we find ourselves when we work jobs we hate for that biweekly paycheck so we can buy shit we don’t need. “People who cannot suffer can never grow up, can never discover who they are. . .” (again, The 50th Law)

And through all this, be content.

Feel the emotions rock and roil, embrace the anger at the crusher of dreams, feel your adrenaline pump, the creativity arise, the fluidity flow, and channel that into positive energy. Channel that energy into your passion, into your daily life.

And through all this, be content.

Understand, though, that we can’t win all the time. Someone’s “no” will overpower our “yes.” We will question others so completely that we will get lost in the argument with little hope of resurfacing.

And through all this, be content.

so the next time

The next time a boss or coworker tells you that you can’t do something, say “Yes I can.”

The next time someone tells you that you aren’t capable of following your dreams, say “Yes I am.”

So fight the dream crushers. Fight the sardonic. Fight those too afraid to pursue their dreams so they make it their mission to squash yours under their hypocritical heel. They will say no. And you will look them in the eye, contentment pasted upon your brow, and say yes.

See: “Be a No Man”

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