By Marie-Helena Mekolo

After a weekly catch up call with a friend of mine, one spent exchanging the usual gossip and highlights of our weeks, we decided that 2017 was going to be the year of “Yes” for us.

You see, I believe that we live in a world of routine. A world  where we’re programmed to say “no” before hearing the end of a sentence. I can’t tell you how many invitations I’ve turned down last week. Why? Was I doing something urgent and important? Nope. I was ditching the invitation to stay home and scan TV channels for anything interesting to watch. I wish I could say that I was being productive, doing something that would help me grow in my career or improve my health.

Now I want to challenge myself, and you, to become a ‘Yes’ person. You know what I’m talking about: that friend that’s always down for anything. The one you can call for any and every adventure. It’s so important to live in the present, and the best way to do it is to start saying “Yes!”. When someone invites you to a pop up shop after brunch, you go! If one of your co-workers invites you for happy hour…Go! It truly is that simple, we make things so much more complicated when we over think and stress about the small stuff.

Your dream life is just beyond the walls you’ve constructed to keep you ‘safe’. Being ‘safe’ is an illusion. We tend to surround ourselves with things and situations we can deal with, thinking that this is how life should be. Situations that are comfortable, situations that we know for sure we can handle. What type of life is a predictable one? Life is full of ups and downs, there is no way we can control it. All we can do is go along for the ride, but why not enjoy it too? Will saying “Yes” to a date with your downstairs neighbor really hurt you? There is only two outcomes: 1. You actually have a good time or 2. You hate it. Either way, at least you know you can have a new friend/lover or a new person to avoid. The most important thing is you took a chance, that you lived in the present and said “Yes” to something new.

So many people miss great opportunities because of a “no”. There is always something to be learned in any situation. Saying “Yes” is worth it, I promise. If you don’t believe it just try it for a day, a weekend or even a week, whatever you’re comfortable with. Not only will you gain more perspective about life, but you will also get to know yourself more. And there is nothing better than being in touch with your innermost self.