Six years ago, I moved from Chicago to New York to work at Saturday Night Live. I packed up and was going through my things to see what I would take with me and what I’d leave behind. I found an orange folder—a regular school folder—in a bookshelf. As soon as I saw it, I knew what it was. There were quotes written all over the front of it. Some of them were: “Greet everything with ‘Yes, and…’” “Stay in the present, as opposed to focusing on the past or future.” “The fun is always on the other side of a yes.”
… The things I learned in that class became part of the way I live my life. A couple of times I’ve been called on to do things—jobs or whatever—where I’ve felt, Maybe I’m not quite ready. Maybe it’s a little early for this to happen to me. But the rules are so ingrained. “Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterward” has helped me to be more adventurous. It has definitely helped me be less afraid.
There are limits of reason to this idea of saying yes to everything, but when I meet someone whose first instinct is “No, how can we do that? That doesn’t seem possible,” I’m always kind of taken aback. Yeah, of course you can. There’s no choice. And even if you abandon one idea for another one, saying yes allows you to move forward.