Saturday, September 3, 2011

Yes Man

Yes Man, many of you might have heard of the film starring Jim Carry that came out in 2008. Well the idea of the film came from a book with the same name by Danny Wallace. I first saw the film last year and it sort of, I dunno, it clicked! Do you ever get that feeling when something just clicks and no matter how good or bad it is, you just say "Wow this is awesome!", well that's what I thought as soon as I saw the film.


Basically, the film is about a guy who says no to everything and spends his days either at work or in front of the telly. One day (for reasons I have neither the time or will go in to) he is convinced to say Yes to every opportunity, suggestion or invitation that arises. Throughout the film, Carl (the main character)'s life improves. He seemingly starts to really live and enjoy everything; he learns to play the guitar as well as learning Korean and taking lessons in flying. He also meets the love of his life (how sweet). Much of the same happens in the book (I'd like to mention here that the book is obviously much better than the film). 


The special thing about the book is that it's a true story and is basically just a brushed up version of the author's diary of the time.


To be honest, the film wasn't AMAZING, but it was the idea that I really loved. I have to admit that I am sometimes quite a No-Man, usually out of laziness. I'm currently with my parents during the summer break and I live quite far from the city...well not so far but far enough to make me lazy at times.


Anyway, I had a bet with a friend: We would both have to do the Yes Man experiment for a whole week. 


The only times we can say "No" are when saying yes:


- Could harm us or others
- Would lead to something illegal
- Is financially impossible
- Is impossible due to other plans (if two invitations coincide, its first come, first serve).


Now I know that this seems like I'm making it too easy, but the moral of the film is also that saying yes to everything can lead to quite a lot of trouble, hence the rules and exceptions.


So I started on Wednesday and saying yes has done quite a few things for me:


It made me realise how often I say no, not out of laziness but out of habit. For example, my sister asks for me to bring her a glass of water, and even though it would take hardly any effort or time, I just say no....for no reason (well actually there is a reason, she should get up and do it herself). The experiment has obviously confirmed the obvious; doing nice things make you feel good about yourself.


The best thing so far is that this experiment has made me go out with acquaintances whom I already feel might become good friends. I had some great nights out and met amazing people. The more I say Yes, the more reasons and opportunities I get to say Yes to.


Oh, I haven't mentioned the stakes.....well it will seem incredibly odd because my friend and I are completely different people: If he succeeds, I have to give him an Ostrich Beany Baby (let me take this opportunity to explain to you that my mate is the strangest of species that I have yet come upon on this fair earth. I keep telling myself that he wants the Ostrich just so he can annoy me, because the truth (the fact that I think he genuinely loves the thing) scares the hell outta me. If I succeed, he will give me a lucky charm and one of those inflatable rings you can stick in your pool (don't ask why, it's just the first thing that came to mind). 


Now if he fails, he cannot use the computer for an entire week (which for him is a huge deal given his obsession with videogames as well as the fact that we're approaching the boring end of summer when all our friends have left for uni). If I lose, I'm not allowed to wear deodorant for a week (I told you, a strange specimen he is, he believes that deodorant, mine to be specific, has a strong, chemical smell that is worse than BO).


Anyway it's been a great experience so far and I hope that when the experiment ends (next Wednesday) I'll still have reason to be open to new opportunities.


Moral of the Story:


Don't be afraid to say Yes. Don't let opportunities slip by out of laziness or needless fear because you never know what an invitation can lead to. Also, I must agree with Danny Wallace when he says that taking a risk and having a bad experience is better than forever regretting that you didn't take the risk in the first place. 


- Perry.

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