Eric Schmidt (Google Executive Chairman) spoke last month at the University of California at Berkeley graduation.  He offered a powerful affirmation about the value of saying “yes”:

“Find a way to say yes to things.  Say yes to invitations to a new country.  Say yes to meeting new friends.  Say yes to learning a new language, picking up a new sport.  Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job.  Yes is how you find your spouse, and even your kids.  Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means you will do something new, meet someone new, and make a difference in your life, and likely in others’ lives as well. . . . Yes is a tiny word that can do big things.  Say it often.” (Commencements: CEO Wisdom, 2012 Edition. Bloomberg Businessweek, 5/28/12–6/3/12, p. 24)

I love Schmidt’s wonderfully optimistic, positive affirmation on the value of saying yes.  Being willing to make changes, being willing to try something new, being willing to go down a different road, can all bear much fruit.  But how much fruit is never harvested because of the veto vote of the “no”?  We are the ones who usually place the most limitations on ourselves.

With all that said, the one caveat I offer is that of personal moral or ethical conviction.  At times we may be confronted with what appears to be a wonderful new opportunity.  Nevertheless, should our conscience, ethics, or spiritual worldview put up a red flag, then that must be heeded.  We never want to violate our personhood.

That said, let’s look for more ways to say yes!

scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″
style=”border:none; width:450px; height:80px”>

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

Leave a Reply