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It's not that easy being a YES MAN - Tom Sykes decided to say yes to everything for a week and got more than he bargained for...|
By Tom Sykes
Last updated at 11:26 PM on 20th October 2008
Just over two years ago, before I returned home from America where I was working for a while, I was the most enthusiastic man on the planet.
Fancy going skiing in upstate New York? Sure! A picnic and game of frisbee in Central Park? Why not? A road trip to LA? Let's go!
I looked back across the Pond with pity at the antipathetic Brits, always making excuses, not showing up and letting each other down at the last minute.
Living in New York, the global capital of can-do positivity, had forever banished the grumpy old curmudgeon in me and transformed me into a real go-getter.
Or so I thought. As soon as I was back on this side of the Atlantic, I slowly reverted to my old ways. When asked to do something, whether it was to go for lunch or help someone out, my instinct once again was to let out a resounding 'No!'.
I realised how entrenched my default position of refusal had become when a friend invited me to a concert at the Royal Albert Hall over the summer which included one of my favourite bands - the Manic Street Preachers.
I didn't even reply to his text. I told myself the band were not as good as they used to be, that the venue was not right for them, that it'd be difficult and expensive to get home.
But the truth was more simple: I just couldn't be bothered. Why couldn't I just have said yes, got myself on the bus and gone?
I was reflecting on this recently when I heard about a new movie, Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey. Based on a book by Danny Wallace, it tells the story of a guy who, fearing his get up and go has got up and gone, makes a vow to say yes more. It changes his life.
I was fascinated by the concept - it sounded like the kick-start I needed to get me back on a positive track, so I decided to give it a whirl. But how would a week of saying yes to absolutely everything turn out?