Episode 109 - No, Yes But, Yes And...
The Thursday Thesis - 26/07/2018
All I suggested was that we should go out for a coffee, so how did we end up here – flying a hang-glider over the snow-capped mountains, in search of owls?
It must have been something I said, or she said, or both...
Yes, I was on yet another course – learning more interesting “stuff” to add to the rag-bag of other people’s brilliance and the random churning of pig-headedness that pass for my mind – and now that what I learned there has been stirred into the melange and fermented...
I was told to ask my play-buddy out on a first date, and we were instructed by the course leader, Claire, to answer each other with the word “No...” and then our reasons why not.
It didn’t go well: within a few minutes of “no” after “no” I was done. My usual state of boundless, puppy-dog energy was flagging and my self esteem was down around my ankles.
We traded places and revenge was mine!
Frustration reigned and we were both battered by rejection.
Claire gleefully pointed out that hearing someone say “no” to us and our opportunities – especially the incredible prospect of going out on a date with me (she didn’t actually say that a date with me was a great opportunity, but I knew that’s what she meant) – would quickly shut us down and train us to not bother asking again.
Life’s like that: if you keep saying “no” to doing good stuff and life will stop offering you the chance to play.
It got a little better in the next game, when we were invited to play the scenario again, but answer “yes, but...” and give a conditional response.
This was simply annoying.
“Would you like to meet up for coffee and to talk for a while?” She asked.
“Yes, but only if we can meet at a place that serves real Italian coffee.” I said.
“Yes, but Italian coffee makes me woozy, so how about Costa, on New Market Street?”
“Yes, but Costa is a big chain and it’s totally un-authentic” I countered “Can we go somewhere with a more personal vibe?”
Grrr – frustrating!
Every opportunity was accepted, then modified or a condition attached. My play-buddy was annoyed by my evasiveness.
We swapped sides and she immediately began to get on my nerves. I felt like I was trying to nail a blancmange to the ceiling: no matter what I suggested, she always dodged and added a condition.
Claire stepped in before the violence began, suggesting that we try to get a date one more time, but always answer each other with “Yes, and...” and to see what happened.
“Would you like to meet up for coffee and have a chat?” I asked.
“Yes, and perhaps a Panini for lunch, too?”
“Yes, and then we’d probably need – just for research purposes, you understand – a nice pastry
or a very, very small dessert to polish it off. What do you think?”
“Yes, and then perhaps we could take a walk by the river and enjoy the late afternoon sunshine?”
“Yes, and if we’re having fun we could watch the sunset and listen to the owls waking up: I love owls”
I don’t remember exactly how we ended up flying a hang-glider or where the snow-capped mountains were, but we laughed and egged one another on to make the hypothetical date exhilarating and exciting.
That’s what happens when we say “Yes, and...” our brains get all creative and stuff, they begin to play and invent, to sniff out opportunities and possibilities.
So, are you having a fabulous day?
Answer “Yes, and..” and see where it takes you – you might be pleasantly flabbergasted.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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