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Live on the Other Side of “Yes”

By John C. Maxwell | January 22, 2019
Live on the Other Side of “Yes”

One of my all-time favorite words is only three letters long. It’s a simple word to learn, but a difficult word to master because it has the power to create life as well as diminish it.

It’s the word, YES.

I love the word yes because of the possibilities it contains. Yes is permission. Yes is potential. Yes is momentum, and excitement, and the gateway to growth. The key is saying yes to things that are healthy.

Not too long ago I cast vision to a group of leaders. There were several people in the room listening as I talked about the possibilities of partnership, and how joining together could make a significant difference in the world.

After speaking to the group at large, I met with a handful of those leaders in private. We were in the green room, and the conversation turned to the possibilities of partnership and pushing a little deeper on the details.

I’ll never forget how, as the energy in the room began to build, one of the leaders stood up and said, “John, the answer is yes. Count me in. Whatever this means, I am a yes.”

With that one declaration, the room exploded, and everyone jumped onboard with the vision. After things died down, I pulled that leader aside for a chat. After thanking him for his positive commitment, I had to ask: “What made you respond so boldly?”

He answered: “I live on the other side of yes. That’s where I find abundance and opportunity.”

I loved his phrase—“I live on the other side of yes”—so much that I included it in my chapter on the Abundance Shift in new book, Leadershift: 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace. I think it’s an absolutely brilliant way to talk about leading out of a creative mindset, and it offers some practical habits that help all of us live more abundantly.

If you’re ready to “live on the other side of yes” and embrace creativity and abundance, you’ll need to:

Imagine Opportunities are Everywhere

Everything that humanity has created first existed in someone’s imagination. Ideas and innovations don’t spring out of the ground; they have to be wrestled into existence out of the mind.

If you want to super-charge your imagination, develop the habit of asking great questions, spending time with sharp people, and taking action to create momentum. Opportunities are like rabbits—you get a couple, learn to handle them properly, and pretty soon you have a dozen!

Prepare for Opportunities

Coach John Wooden used to say, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” I love that quote because it reminds me to work as hard as I can, learn as much as I can, connect with others as often as I can, and build a team as well as I can, to ensure that I’m ready when opportunity knocks.

The same is true for you. You never know when the door of opportunity is going to open wide, but those who become successful are ready when it does!

Activate Current Opportunities

Søren Kierkegaard is famous for saying, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.” You could say the same thing about opportunities—we see them once they’ve passed us by, but the ones we need are still in front of us!

Leaders should look for the doors in front of them, the moments and opportunities that present themselves to us today. If we activate those opportunities and keep pursuing them, we will eventually create what I call success momentum.

A life of creativity can be yours, but only if you move past fear and learn to seize the opportunities in front of you.

Slipping free from our comfortable no and living on the other side of yes is the best way to make the necessary shift to abundance.

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