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TONI THORNE: Inspired by Year Of Yes


TONI THORNE: Inspired by Year Of Yes

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DO YOU LIKE TO READ? I do. Reading is very therapeutic and enhances one’s knowledge. No, this is not a paid advertisement or product placement for Shonda Rhimes’ new book Year Of Yes but I would not be doing this column’s readership any justice if I did not recommend that you both read it and incorporate this concept into your life.

I am an advocate of saying “no”. Saying no can be very liberating. I find that we have a very huge difficulty with saying the two letter word.

It eventually results in feelings of resentment and anger with oneself. For example, last week a close friend was travelling to England. As usual with most Bajans who hear about a family member or friend travelling, someone wanted “a small package” taken up to London. Many Bajans have not grasped that this is a major inconvenience to anyone flying. An extra bag is very expensive and the weight to carry through an airport is most unsettling.

A mutual friend stated that Emma (friend travelling) could have either said no or applied the practice of not telling people when you are travelling.

Emma did none of the aforementioned. Instead, Emma was laden with Sodabix, mauby syrup, turnovers and two boxes of Chefette “tuh tek up de road”. Needless to say, Emma also had to spend her own money to carry an extra bag. Emma was angry as she sent a message on Whatsapp about what happened to the other friend and myself.

This could all have been avoided if Emma had simply said, “No.”

This is a classic example of why I believe in utilising the word, “no”.

As a result, when I heard of Shonda’s new book and the concept of Year Of Yes I questioned, “Do I really have to say yes to everything that people ask me to do?” I personally spent the last two years learning how to unapologetically say no when placed in uncomfortable situations and now one of my role models was proclaiming that I should say yes. Disappointment and bewilderment ensued.

As I read the book, I realised that my first impression of the concept of Year Of Yes was wrong.

A year of saying yes is not about saying yes to any and every request you receive. Saying yes is about conquering our fears.

An interesting aspect of the book was Rhimes’ notion that we must stop dreaming. There is the notion that if you can dream something, it can and will happen. Rhimes suggests to readers in the book Year Of Yes that we must disgard this idea and focus on doing. Years ago I read a Huffington Post article which said that persons who dream spend too much time in their thoughts and as a result, they are less inclined to do.

I am requesting that we all embark on a Year Of Yes. A year of accepting invitations to experiences which would normally make us feel nervous or intimidated. A year of being more comfortable with being uncomfortable. A year started by reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year Of Yes. Happy reading! 

Toni Thorne is a young entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global Shaper who loves global youth culture, a great debate and living in paradise. Email [email protected]