Year of Yes

I was catching up with an old friend and mentioned that during the past couple of years, I found myself saying ‘no’ more often than not. I would say ‘no’ to going out to concerts, work related events, and hanging out with my friends. I didn’t have better plans but just felt more comfortable at home. I believe it was one of reasons that led to the end of my relationship. So to turn things around, I decided that I was going to say ‘yes’ to almost anything within reason. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience new things. It didn’t make sense that I love to learn but was doing it mostly through reading, podcasts, and writing instead of doing things.

My friend said my story reminded her of Shonda Rhimes’ memoir, Year of Yes. Shonda Rhimes is the creator of some of the TV’s most iconic dramas: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. During Thanksgiving, Shonda’s sister calls her out for always saying ‘no’ to incredible opportunities. This led to her saying ‘yes’ to everything that scares her over the course of the next year or so. I’m sure the book is much more nuanced than that short description but I’ll have to read it to find out.

I’ve put the book in my to read list. But to give myself some inspiration, I found an NPR interview and Shonda Rhimes’ TED talk about the subject.

What I’ve Watched:

Shonda Rhimes: My year of saying yes to everything | TED Talk

After watching this video, I remembered seeing this TED Talk before. I didn’t take away much from this talk the first time around. I thought the lesson was very cliché, don’t spend all your time at work. This time around, the video had a more profound impact. It reminded me that my time away from work is for leisure. I don’t have to be using all my time away from work pursuing writing, reading, or whatever my current obsession is. I should spend some of that time having fun with friends and family.

What I’ve Heard:

For a year, Shonda Rhimes Said ‘Yes’ To All The Things That Scared Her | NPR

I recommend listening to the extended interview that’s about halfway down the page. This interview provides a wider scope of the book than the TED Talk. I felt the TED Talk was focused on how saying ‘yes’ reignited Shonda Rhimes’ love of writing. While this interview, and I’m assuming the book, explores how that year transformed more than just her work life.

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