Glass Half Full: Why Saying 'Yes' When Possible Will Make You Happier


“No.” It's the word we all heard as kids and probably all throughout our adolescent years. It's the word we all hated, and one that caused no shortage of temper tantrums. It’s an effective word.

This word, the one that delivers rejection in one syllable, holds too much power. It keeps us from trying harder or going for things that seem out of reach.

It sits in the back of our brains and stops us from being adventurous. And, it serves as the block in our road.

Let’s be real; life can be scary. We have choices, sometimes too many, in fact.

Jobs, cities to live in, places to travel — the opportunities are endless. So, what do we choose? Is our brain right for telling us no? How do we know when to say yes?

Everything. We, the 20-somethings of the world, say yes to everything.

People keep saying that Millennials have an attitude of entitlement and we don’t know how to work for what we want. I have a problem with that sentiment.

Yeah, there’s probably a decent percentage of 20-somethings who don’t know how to work hard and pay their dues, but there is also a major portion of us who want nothing more than to put our names out in the world and build our own credentials.

Some people look at job descriptions, see one thing that they don’t have or don’t know how to do and immediately throw it away.

The thing is though, companies like people our age because we’re malleable and we also have innovation and initiative on our side. We go for things that other people won’t.

Sometimes, we believe in ourselves more than our actual skill levels reflect we should, but that’s how we get ahead in life.

Our generation is also known for our impulsivity, which can be positive and negative.

I think it’s a beautiful thing; there’s something so freeing about picking up and moving to a completely new place, sometimes with a job, sometimes just because you want to go. We need new scenery, new challenges and new people. Why stay in one place when there are countless places to go?

Sure, there are some things to which we should say no: heroin, crystal meth, unsupervised drag racing and swimming with sharks while having a paper cut, to name a few.

But, there are some things to which we should always say yes: jobs that seem a little out of our reach, trips around the world that could change our lives and doing something simply because it makes us happy.

"Yes" is a better answer than "no" for so many reasons:

1. Because things can always change.

Nothing is permanent, if you don’t want it to be.

2. There is always another place to go, whether it’s another city, state or country.

We live in one hell of a world, and there are some crazy, awesome places within it. If that doesn’t do it for you, spin a globe, close your eyes and point.

3. Adventure is what helps us find what we want.

Taking chances can be extremely scary, but doing so is really rewarding, even if it’s just submitting an application for your dream job.

4. Safety and security are great, but they don’t always get you where you want to go.

Staying in one place can provide contentment, but is that really all you want from life?

5. Hearing "no" is better than saying "no."

The worst that can happen is that you get rejected and move on to the next thing.

6. Why not?

You have literally no idea what will happen in your life unless you try something new.

There is no way a person can possibly grow if he or she only does what he or she is accustomed to doing. Okay, so that’s a little confusing, but think about it: How do we learn?

By experiencing new things. Not all of them are good, but they’re all necessary. Falling down and scraping our elbows may not have felt great, but it taught us how to stay on bikes.

Failing a midterm is probably the worst feeling a student can have, but it's a reminder to study harder.

Saying yes doesn’t have to be life changing, but it can be. We have this amazing world of choices, so why would we say no to anything that comes our way? Rejection is just a stepping-stone to success.

Sometimes, it’s really, really scary to jump out of our comfort zones, but that’s why it’s called a "comfort zone" in the first place.

Our security blankets may have kept us safe when we were kids, but it’s only an obstacle now. Perspective can change everything, and anything can change perspectives.