Just say “Yes”!

by Michael Haberman on January 7, 2016 · 0 comments


Great lessons from Tom Peters.

Great lessons from Tom Peters.

I am continuing on with my theme this week for continued improvement. As I was thumbing through a favorite book I came across an entry that I had book marked. I thought it was apropos for the first week of January.

Lesson from his Mother-in-Law

The book is The Little Big Things by Tom Peters. If you do not know who Tom Peters is then you are missing out. In particular this book is very readable in little bites. It is subtitled 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. Number 68 was a lesson that Tom learned from his mother-in-law. He tells the story that he and his wife had invited her mom to drive down and join them for a dinner in Manhattan. At that time she was 74 and she declined the invite due to the perceived difficulty of the drive. Peters knew his mother-in-law well enough to know that “NO” meant no.

Change of heart

When Tom and his wife arrived in Manhattan they received a message that Mom would be arriving at 7pm. They were pleased but when they saw her they asked why she had changed her mind. Her response was “I decided to say ‘Yes.’

She told them she had a friend who had once shared three secrets to a long life with her. The first of these was surround yourself with good books on any and every topic. Second was spend time with people of all ages. The third secret was to say “Yes.”

The Lesson

These are three easy steps to living a long, good life. You learn new things, you meet new people and you take on new opportunities and challenges when you say “yes.” As the year progresses keep these things in mind and be more willing to say “yes.”


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