BY MADISON SKAKLE
I’ve always been what I like to call a “nicely-stubborn” individual. Lately, however, I’ve changed some of my ways – yes, I’m still stubborn, but I’ve modified one aspect of my life for the better. I’ve started saying YES to opportunities! I’m sharing with you how the simple act of saying yes can change your life.
Before I met my husband, I was the type of person that liked to do the same thing every single day. I could eat the same foods every day, go to work at the same time and the same place every day, watch the same television shows every day, and much more was involved in my routine. I liked to stay in my lane and do what I expected myself to do.
Then, came my (now) husband, Austin, into my life. Austin is a spontaneous individual and likes to do activities on the whim. Initially, we butted heads because I’d say no to most of his ideas. For example, “Let’s drive down to the beach this weekend to watch the solar eclipse.” My response, “What? That’s not in our plan!” I liked to have everything planned to perfection and exactly how I wanted it. This was selfish of me and looking back at that, I’ve definitely realized it.
Slowly over the years, he started to wear me down (in a positive way) to saying yes more often. Now, I’m never going to be as spontaneous as he is, but I’m a much more balanced individual now that I say yes to opportunities. Let me give you some personal examples. Recently I left my full-time marketing job to pursue fitness full-time because my husband asked me, “Are you as passionate about fitness as you say you are? Then why not teach fitness classes full time?” The old, more rigid Madison would have said, “No way, Jose!” Instead, I did just that! I left my marketing career in the dust and have been involved in the fitness industry full-time. Thankfully, I’ve recently accepted a full-time job at the YMCA as Engagement Director of Group Fitness. My passion has evolved into my full-time job. All because I said yes and didn’t immediately rule myself out.
Another great perk of me saying yes more often: I have more friends. I am busier with social activities because I try to say yes to several social outings each week. Hanging out with friends and connecting is important in my life and I’ve realized that my house doesn’t have to be 100% spotless for someone to come over. “Yes, you can come over!” “Yes, I will cook dinner for us!” True friends and family could care less if there is some dog hair on the floor that you didn’t have time to get up. Friendship is about experiencing life together!
It’s simpler to say no and give an excuse as to why you cannot do something. That’s easy. But is it fulfilling? It wasn’t for me. I’ve found that the more often I’ve said yes to things, the happier and happier and happier I’ve gotten. I actually even see the world with a positive filter on top. We are only in this world for a little while and might as well experience as much of it as we can.
I’m thankful to my husband for helping open my eyes to the phenomenon of “yes, ” and I’m also thankful that I can share the importance of yes in my life with you. Give it a try – say yes more often and see what happens!