One of the top questions I get asked when telling people about my story is how I became so adventurous. For those that don’t know, I didn’t grow up an adventurous person. I don’t remember ever dreaming of traveling the world until my early twenties and even then it wasn’t a top priority. But from my late teens and into my early twenties, I did crave change. I wanted to try more things and explore life’s possibilities. In essence, I wanted to live limitless.
So I did. I started trying new things. I said YES more often. If something piqued my interest, I said YES! When I noticed a poster at school advertising salsa dance lessons I said YES! When I noticed an ad for Olympic speed skating try-outs, I said YES! If someone mentioned something exciting, I said YES!
And ultimately, saying YES is what has changed my life.
Whether I said YES to my ideas or thoughts or to a friend’s proposal, everything changed. Suddenly I was trying new things and meeting new people. Suddenly I was becoming more confident and becoming more willing to say YES. Suddenly, nothing seemed impossible. As long as I said YES, I could try anything. Who knows what might happen or who I might meet. Life became one huge possibility.
Life became so exciting and fresh!
I looked around at others still living a life of NO. A life of stifled creativity. A life of fear. They followed the traditional path that was laid out for them by family, teachers, government or media without ever thinking of other possibilities. They stuck to the same old patterns passed down to them and didn’t question anything. It all seemed so boring to me. It’s not like our life is a practice round for the next one. This is it. Make it happen. Live life to the fullest.
How Saying YES lead to a FREE trip to Japan
Back in 2009, I was lying in my bed reading articles on the Four Hour Work Week Blog when a new post by Tim Ferriss really got me excited. He was releasing his updated version of the Four Hour Work Week book. I already owned the original version but loved it so much that I knew I needed the new one. Tim’s plan for reaching the New York Times Bestseller list involved asking readers to buy hundreds of copies, which came with unique gifts. As I scanned through the options, one really stood out. If I bought 100 copies of the Four Hour Work Week ($1500 USD) I would get a ticket to have dinner with Tim and attend a private party on a warship in San Francisco. The possibilities began swarming around my head. This was my idol in the business world. Even though I had $1500, I didn’t really want to be stuck with 100 copies of the same book. With the option being available to only 20 people, I questioned it for only one hour before reaching a decision.
I said yes. I clicked on the buy now button and a few weeks later had 10 huge Amazon boxes show up at my door. It looked so strange that I had to take a picture. A few months later, I was in San Francisco partying with Tim Ferriss and 20 others who bought all the books as well as Noah Kagen, Kevin Rose and Paula Abdul.
After the party, I had to try selling the books. I began searching Meetup groups trying to find business-minded people who might be interested and ended up stumbling upon a group called Junior Chamber International (JCI). I sent them an email and they invited me to come make a proposal at the their next meeting. When I showed up, I gave them a quick speech about the books and then sold a few copies. Then one of the guys made me an offer. He told me that a student membership was $50 per year (I was a student at the time) and that he would buy four copies if I joined the group. Since everyone was young and inspired, I said YES.
Next thing you know, I’m taking free public speaking courses, attending meetings and eventually taking a free trip to Japan. I didn’t realize how big JCI was on the international level but when the world congress was announced in Osaka, Japan, I knew I had to go. Since JCI Calgary is a non-profit organization who does work in the community in exchange for funding, my trip was fully paid for. 10,000 people from all over the world attended this event.
One YES turned into:
- Meeting my idol Tim Ferriss
- Partying on a warship in San Francisco with mega-entrepreneurs
- Joining JCI and improving my public speaking skills
- A free two-week trip to Japan
Since saying YES, my life has changed dramatically and for the better. So many things have happened and I’ve experienced more than most people do in a lifetime. It doesn’t stop with the Japan trip either.
Since saying YES!, I have:
- Traveled solo to Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia for six months.
- Sky-dived from 15,000 feet in New Zealand and Portland, Oregon.
- Bungy-Jumped off of the Auckland Bridge with a dip into the sea.
- Organized 20+ people to bungy-jump off a bridge in Washington.
- Scuba dived many of the worlds best diving locations up close with many sharks, turtles, whales, seals and countless schools of tropical fish.
- Spent more than a month in over 20 countries.
- Started an online business that helps Canadians travel around the world for almost free.
- Started a blog (actually, many blogs) that have introduced me to hundreds of inspiring people around the world, expanded my options in life and given me thousands of dollars of free travel activities.
- Met my wife (who is from Mexico) during one semester at university and after two years of painfully making it work through Skype, we are now married and travel the world together.
- Had a feature role in an independent comedy movie.
- Hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, the jungle trail to the Lost City of Colombia, the peak of mount kinabalu and through many villages in Myanmar.
- Finished my last semester of university on an exchange in Malaysia.
- Been featured in countless major media including the Toronto Star, Calgary Metro and MoneySense magazine.
- Lost 27 pounds of fat, gained 7 pounds of muscle and dropped my body fat % from 22% to 10% in just 12 weeks.
I could go on but I’d rather just give you some advice – SAY YES!
The next time you have an idea for an adventure or a business – SAY YES!
The next time you see an advertisement for something that interests you, whether it be salsa dancing or public speaking lessons – SAY YES!
The next time you feel like it’s time to do something new, SAY YES!
The next time you feel like you should ask someone out, SAY YES!
The next time you feel like losing fat and building muscle, SAY YES!
Say YES to Life. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s very powerful. Say YES and watch the opportunities unfold before you.
or Say NO and continue living exactly as you have without ever opening yourself up to a new world of possibilities.
Everything is a choice and the choice is yours.
I hope you make the right one.
I’d like to hear from you. Has saying YES changed your life? Is there something you’re going to say YES to after reading this post. Share in the comments below!
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