Say “YES” and Transform Your Relationships

Yes. This simple, yet powerful word can be transformational – it can help you to avoid procrastination, stick to commitments and build better relationships. This lesson came to me over 20 years ago, and the wisdom still resonates with me today. The experience helped me rethink how I interacted with people close to me, and the results have been very positive.

The knowledge came to me at a small breakout session at a conference I attended. The speaker was a gentleman by the name of Lee Manzer who is now an icon at Oklahoma State University. That day he shared a story about him and his wife. He told us how every evening his wife would have a diet soda and had done so for years. After a very long day, Lee arrived home to a panicked wife. There was no soda in the house. She asked Lee to go to the store and get her one. Lee was less than excited to help. He reminded her that she had this routine for years, that she had been out and about all day and she should have got her own. Lee continued to lament about his long day. After a bit, he relented and got the soda. He returned, not as a hero, but instead as a heel and you can imagine how the rest of the evening went.

The story is over 20 years old so the exact events may be slightly off, but the point is clear. Lee went on to say, if you’re going to do it, then do it and reap the benefits. Don’t complain about it then do it. The way I see Lee’s point is that you might as well get the “love” for your good deed.

Today, the lesson I share has evolved to “Say YES.” When your partner asks you to go pick up a soda, say “YES.” If they ask you to walk the dog – “YES;” empty the dishwasher – “Yes;” make the bed – “YES;” fold the clothes – “YES.” All of the things I mentioned take less than 10 minutes. While I internalized the idea years ago, I have to admit I haven’t always been committed. A few years of experience have helped me learn to “pick my battles” and to recognize it is not about keeping score.

Occasionally, when asked to do a task I respond by saying, “I’d be happy too.” That is just icing on the cake. The key is about responding positively and timely. Author and speaker Mel Robbins wrote the book the “Five Second Rule.” The five-second rule is simple. If you have an instinct to act on something you must do it within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. I have coupled Robbins thinking with Manzer’s, and it works to get me to respond “yes” to a request from someone, by acting on my instincts.

This technique has helped me tremendously with my daughter, Eva. When she asks to play “hide and seek” or Candy Land or to read her a book, I quickly say “yes” and away we go. Ten minutes later she is content, and I am back to what I was doing. Now, I don’t always have it within me, but more times than not the idea works, and I am happy that I did.

I want to encourage you to give it a try. You will be amazed at how people close to you will respond, and you will be surprised at how others will follow your lead. Just say “YES,” you’ll be glad you did.

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