I said my first word at work in 2013 today: "Yes."
It's the first time I've spoken to anyone in the company since the new year began.
That's the only thing I said to them: "Yes."
Our meeting systems allow us to join meetings without announcing ourselves. Pressing a button adds your name to an attendance roster. That helps minimize distractions and conversations while confirming everyone needed is present.
Saying "Yes" reminded me of a friend. Beautiful, intelligent, vivacious, she had decided that her life needed to be changed. Therefore, she planned to say "Yes" to everything. Open herself up to new ideas and experiences by saying yes.
I've seen such approaches taken in television sitcoms and movie plots since then. I didn't ask her at the time but I wonder where she came up with the idea.
She'd not had the best of life before then, not bad, but not the best. On the life meter of 1 to 10, she was about a 5.0. On the life meter, you're a 1 if you have a disease, no income, shelter and food, and hadn't eaten in a couple days. The life meter readout is 1 for you: Life Sucks.
As a 5, she was healthy and had a home but problems associated with bad life choices. In her late 20s, she was on her second marriage, with two children, one from each marriage. Her second husband was running a trucking business. He'd decided that paying the IRS estimated quarterly taxes was not part of running his business. Then he told them to go screw themselves when they asked for the money. He was also skimming money from the business so he could be a big man around a small town, and he was running drugs to make more money.
So the business was tanking, the IRS was after her and her husband for a quarter million dollars, and oh, yeah, because he is such a great guy, he had two girlfriends on the side.
I have to note that in some strange way, her second husband was like her first husband. He was involved in selling drugs while in the military and also had a girlfriend on the side, while she was pregnant.
This woman needed a life change. She left her two children with relatives and headed south, vowing to say yes to everything to change her life.
I guess it worked, after a while, after an affair with a married man and after years of college and finally graduating with a degree. The children eventually joined her. She's remarried and the two of them are successful and happy, although she is being sued by her former employer for patent infringement. Beyond that, she says yes, stays optimistic and travels the world, while I sit on the phone replying, "Yes."
We're probably both about a 7.5 on the Life Meter, struggling to become 8s.
Maybe I just need to say "Yes" more often. Perhaps I can incorporate that as 2013 goals: say yes more and become an 8.
I wonder what life is like as an 8.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com