What I Learned This Year 2012 #14: Brian Cummings

By Egotist / /

This year, I’ve learned the power of saying “Yes.”
Often in my career, I have waited until the timing feels just right or until I feel ready before I tackle a new challenge. It’s always, “When I get free time, I’m going to make that phone call” or play with the newest camera. Well, life doesn’t quite work like that. Life is, “Hey, I got an extra ticket to a show in Cleveland for tonight. We can get there and back by morning. You in?” Rarely does it check with your day planner or ask if you can schedule some time.

I’ve learned that when the phone rings or the someone knocks on the door (except on Saturday mornings), it’s an opportunity to say, “Yes”. What do I mean by saying yes?
I believe in setting goals and having a plan, but I’ve learned that universe takes all those plans, reads them, and sends you the oddest friend requests you’ve ever seen. The packaging doesn’t look like what you ordered, but it’s definitely for you. By saying, “Yes,” I am saying that I am open to the opportunity to learn, the chance to grow, and the chance to fail (failure is one of the greatest things you can experience). I’ve learned that you are never ready until you just do it. I’ve stood on the high dive for years, waiting for the courage to jump in. By saying “Yes,” I let life push me off the board. Sometimes I do a killer jack knife, and sometimes it’s a big ol’ belly flop.
The point is, the doubting and speculating is gone. I’ve done it. I got my feet wet.

… I’ve also learned the power of saying “No.”
While “Yes” can open so many doors, I’ve also learned that saying “No” sometimes can make sure that I am available to say “Yes.” Not to be hypocritical, but by saying “No” from time to time, we can be open for the good things that are about to come. Whether it’s out of fear or desperation, we are all tempted to say “Yes” to opportunities that we know are not what we want. How do we know when to say “No?” I’ve learned that it’s about being honest with myself and trusting my gut. Sometimes, the opportunity is exactly what it sounds like. Nothing more. Therefore, being honest about what I expect to gain or lose helps me with my decision.

I guess what I’ve really learned is that when the timing doesn’t seem right, or the request scares me just a bit, “Yes” may just be the answer. And if my gut says “No”, run like hell.