Monday, May 16, 2016

Yes And...

This past weekend, I had to throw the equivalent of a wedding reception for an event at my daughter’s school. Suddenly, everyone else who was on the board had other commitments. It’s not that I had no commitments but I decided instead of worrying I would step forward. Or, at least I wouldn’t take one giant step backwards with everyone else.


Recently, at another event at my daughter’s school – yes, I live there these days – a senior made a speech about her future endeavors. She said instead of saying “no” or “yes, but” she decided that she would say “yes and.” The words “yes and” leave us open to possibilities. “Yes but” is basically a form of no. Maybe not a complete 'no' but a wimpy way of saying “I don’t really want to do this because of this-this-and-this but I will if I have to.” A “but” in the statement closes doors. An “and” opens you up to possibilities.

I thought about this in context to the reception I just planned and executed. It was difficult, scary and hectic. But it turned out beautifully. I made connections with people I would not have otherwise. I stretched myself to try new things. But most importantly, I did it. I said “yes and.”

There’s wisdom in the enthusiasm and energy of the young. It goes to show you that life lessons are everywhere if you’re really listening. And remembering the “and” that follows the “yes.”


  1. Lisa - I this so hard! I remember when one of our WRW members did an Intro to Improv workshop and shared this same piece of wisdom. No. Yes. Yes, But. Three ways to shut down an improv scene because there's no space to move forward, all avenues are cut off. When when you to choose to respond with Yes,, the possibilities are endless and hopeful.

    Glad you said Yes, And to stretching yourself. I don't think it's the right response every time (hey, we're not doormats, right?), but using Yes, And as a strategic tool is a great way to expand our horizons, grow, and keep learning.

    Yay, you!

  2. Wow, kudos to you on pulling off the reception! I love that concept of "Yes, and." Saying "no" always feels like a safe bet (to me, at least), while a "yes" opens up adventures and all the complications that can go with it. But I guess without adventures and complications there would be no growth. I also like your point about wisdom coming from the enthusiasm and energy of young people. Loved the post!

  3. Thank you, Keely. I'm glad that you could relate to it. That's interesting about how that works in Improv. I guess I missed that meeting!

  4. Thank you, Misha! It is safe to say no. And I've said it a lot as well. :) But lately I've felt like I need to expand my horizons. And this was one way to do it.