Say ‘Yes’ to Everything and See What Happens

Say ‘Yes’ to Everything and See What Happens

By Chin Wei Lien
One simple word can unlock a lifetime of adventure — are you ready?

In our survey of thousands of Indians, nearly one in five people said that a lack of confidence keeps them from living fully. Say yes more, and that confidence should soar. 

You may have seen the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey. But did you know it’s based on a book written by an Englishman who actually said yes to everything for a year? Turning no opportunity down meant he flew to Singapore on a whim, climbed the career ladder by taking on a plethora of assignments (including hosting his own TV show), found the love of his life — and won the lottery.

Why is it important to start mining confidence by saying yes to everything? Firstly, you will realise just how often you have been saying no. Secondly, you learn that saying yes gets easier with practice. Thirdly, you will find that ‘yes’ opens doors to new things — ‘no’ closes them.  

Here are some ideas to get you started:


“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later.” Wise words from Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Group, about busting out of your comfort zone.

It is easy to think “No, I’m not ready to volunteer for a joint project or a high-level brainstorm with the executives.” Fight that urge, especially if it’s a direct request. If someone is asking you to join something, it means they believe you have potential.

What’s more, saying yes kick-starts a sense of fearlessness and momentum. A yes to a late-night task force leads to a chance meeting with the marketing head, who mentions a training course she thinks you would be perfect for, which beefs up your CV — you get the drift.

So volunteer for new opportunities, even the ones that seem like chores such as showing the new intern around. You will be surprised at how being open to saying yes to helping even junior people opens doors eventually. You never know who will rise to the top: last year Dennis Muilenberg took over as CEO of the aerospace giant Boeing — 30 years prior, he was just an unknown Boeing intern.

Now that you are opening up professionally, you can take that confidence into your personal life. It’s time to…


At the time of writing, Airbnb lists more than 300 homes for rental in Mumbai alone, so why not say 'yes' to the sharing economy and become one of them? 

Earning some quick cash on the side is one thing, but welcoming travellers means you will broaden your horizons even at home. It’s a big, beautiful world out there but sadly, we do not always have time to travel. Opening your doors means that the world comes to you. You hear stories, learn from cultures and make connections with people you never otherwise would have met.

As Joe Gebbia, the creator of Airbnb himself says, his own first hosting experience completely rewired his outlook on the world: “Maybe the people that my childhood taught me to label as strangers were actually friends waiting to be discovered.”

Want more chances to hear amazing stories from the world? Step outside and…


With about 2.6 million people taking the Delhi Metro every day — that’s roughly the population of Qatar — you won’t be short of fascinating people to approach. So try talking to a newcomer every day, from fellow commuters to the office’s security guard, and see where it takes you. The benefits are striking.

In our stirring interview with the founder of Humans of Bombay Karishma Mehta, she outlines just how the simple act of reaching out to strangers transforms you: “Your possibilities open up, you feel like you can look at the world from a new viewpoint.” A fresh perspective, she adds, “always helps you, even if it’s not directly related to your own story.”

Plus, if you can get over the fear of approaching a stranger, you will feel like you can tackle anything. Yes indeed.