Lots of things get your attention; like ice-cold water on your face, loud noises or the sweet aroma of your favorite foods, but have you ever heard a statement that stopped you in your tracks? The YES’S change our lives, not the NO’S, really hit home for me. A few years ago a bitter, middle-aged man had just gone through a horrible divorce and sworn off women forever. His friends were always trying to fix him up with the perfect lady. Most times, he’d just say no. He felt he knew who he wanted to be with better than they did, even if it was only a date. The truth was, the few blind dates he’d accepted turned out to be great. The ladies he chose for himself were nightmares.There’s a heroine of this story. She, too, had gone through a bad divorce from a cheating husband. She’d not sworn off men, but didn’t think one would be better than a good book in front of a warm fire.
On with the story. Her dentist had been trying to fix her up with different guys for almost nine years and she always said NO. The dentist and the bitter man were members of the same Kiwanis Club. He knew just how empty both of their lives were and his heart nearly stopped when after all this time the heroine said YES when he suggested the two of them meet on a blind date. As soon as she left his office, he called the man and told him to call her right away because he was afraid if the man waited too long to call, she would say NO as she had done so many times before. In fact, the first time the man called her she did not want to meet him. She wouldn’t even let him know where she lived. Two months later he found her number in the pocket of a suit and tried again. This time the call went better. She agreed (YES) to meet him in a neutral location. She described herself as being 5’6″ tall with grey hair. He arrived early and it seemed as if everyone else in town had chosen the same restaurant. She came through the crowd and suddenly he could not see anyone else. He called her name and she said that magic word, YES.
One year later in front of over one hundred people she said YES again when he asked her to marry him. Because of YES they are living happily ever after. I hope this true story convinces you that saying YES is what changes lives. Let me remind you that we Americans are the luckiest people in the world, but we have let ourselves be trained to say NO. If you don’t believe me, think about what 90% of people say when a sales person approaches them. My experience as that bitter man has trained me to look for a YES and to look for people who say YES. I’ve discovered most of those people are friendly and optimistic. In the past few months I’ve found lots of them — Mercier’s Apple House, the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club and the Military Veteran Groups. Starting now, try seeing how many times you can say YES before you say NO. I’d like your feedback on how it makes you feel. See you next week.