Monday, November 24, 2008

Saying Yes: Opening Up New Horizons in Your Life

On my visit to Chicago this past weekend to celebrate my parents' 84th birthdays (they were born three days apart), my father gave me the book "Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up" by Patricia Ryan Madson. I read part of the book on the plane back to LA.

While I'm not sure I understand or agree with everything I've read so far, I do agree with her first of 13 maxims: "Say Yes." And I particularly agree with this because it fits the philosophy of having an open mind, which I learned about from Carol Dweck's book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success."

Here's an exercise from Madson's book that we can all try:
For one day say yes to everything. Set your own preferences aside. Notice the results. See how often it may not be convenient or easy to do this.

Obviously, use common sense in executing this rule. If you are a diabetic and are offered a big piece of pie, you'll need to find a way to protect your health. Perhaps you can say boldly, "Yes, I'd love to have this pie to take home to my son who adores cherries."
This is an interesting exercise that I'm hoping I'll do one day this week. In the meantime, I'm continuing to follow Dweck's advice about having an open mind: I'm willing to undertake new things -- and I'm willing to fail at them -- in order to expand my knowledge. The alternative, of only doing what I'm good at, is the opposite of a growth mindset.


Patricia Ryan Madson said...

Thank you for mentioning my book, Improv Wisdom. It makes me so pleased to learn that it is making its way in the world offering advice and stimulating comment. You are very kind to mention it in your blog.
Have a great day and congrats to your parents on their birthdays!

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Patricia --

Glad that I could help spread the word about your book IMPROV WISDOM. And thanks for the good wishes for my parents.