I haven’t sent an email out on a Saturday in quite some time.
The truth is, January and February were pretty dark days. I sank rather low and just didn’t feel like I had much to offer. So, I didn’t offer much.
But, things are improving. And, I am ready to start sending out the regular Saturday “Tip of the Week” again.
So, here goes.
Try saying “Yes” more.
I am on the board of a homeowner’s association. Not sure why, really. But, I am.
We say “No” a lot. I try often to be the voice of “Yes”, but, in the end, the vote is almost always, “No”. No matter what people ask, we almost always say, “No”. I hate it. I am tired of voting “No”.
Years ago, I bought a piece of land. Tried to do something with it. The county I live in said, “No”. Now, my wife is trying to figure out if we can do anything with it. The county keeps saying, “No”. I am tired of hearing “No”.
When I sink low, I tend to say “No” more. In January and February, I said “No” a lot. But, I am tired of saying “No”.
What if we tried hard to say “Yes” in more situations? I wrote “tried hard” because saying “yes” is not easy. “Yes” gets you into situations.
In fact, “No” can be a powerful tool. It can keep you out of bad situations. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Learn to say no. It is more valuable than learning Latin.” I agree with him.
But, learning to say yes is powerful, too.
People used to ask me all the time… “Do you teach Italian?” I always said no. Then, they would ask, “Will you teach Italian?” I always said no.
Then, one day I thought… what if I said, “Yes”? And, then I did it. I said yes. I started teaching Italian. I should re-phrase that. I offered to allow students to LEARN Italian with me. I am still learning Italian.
But, because I said yes, I AM learning Italian. A year ago, I couldn’t read or understand Italian. Now, I can. Not perfectly. I have a long way to go. But, I can read the Bible in Italian, and I have watched several movies in Italian. All because I said “Yes”.
Years ago, my (then) young children asked if we could have more people over. My wife said yes. Now we have someone in our home every Sunday. Inconvenient? Yes. But, we have more friends now. We laugh more. All because my wife said yes.
A few years ago, some strangers invited us to stay in their home in Jerusalem for a week. Scared me to death. But, we said yes. Those strangers are now some of our best friends.
Yes brings risk. It’s scary. I think that’s why we avoid it.
But, yes also brings opportunity. Yes opens the door to discoveries and experiences you might otherwise miss.
Years ago, a school asked me to teach Latin. I said yes. Then a filmmaker asked me later to teach a Latin video course. I said yes. Then an online school asked me to teach live Latin classes online. I said yes. Now, this is how I pay the bills.
For years, a tour guide friend of mine has been asking me to accompany him to Italy. For years I said no. Finally, a few weeks ago, I said yes. I will be visiting Italy for the first time in my life this summer. I will be training with him. We hope to lead tours together starting in 2019.
You never know what “Yes” can turn into.
So, give it a shot. Say “Yes”. You might have fun. You might make some new friends. You might learn a new language. You might learn to play the guitar. At the very least you will have some stories to tell.
Have a happy Saturday!
P.S. I am teaching a live Q&A on Monday night. If you have Latin questions, or Greek questions, or Italian questions, or travel questions… I will do my best to answer them. The webinar is free. Click here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/5466341193824022017