I'm not the kind of person who goes along with the crowd, nods and smiles, or compromises to avoid conflict. In fact, I try not to go along with crowd, I don't always see the silver lining, and I consider myself a realist. I'm definitely not a glass-half-full kind of person. Actually, I can sometimes be a shattered-glass kind of person. I guess I'm known for the occasional sharp or snarky comment (and that's an understatement), or taking the cynical perspective, and that's something I continue to work on in my life. However, I often walk the line between appropriate and inappropriate (my husband, Jason, says I dive right over it!). Oddly, that is a place of yes for me. It is my particular sense of humor, and also usually a reflection of what I really think.
The point is, the Optimist Club is not calling me to become an honorary member anytime soon. And that's fine. Coming from a place of yes is not the same as being an optimist.
Everybody has issues, problems, doubts, fears—and some people are just naturally more positive than other people. That has nothing to do with this. Even if you tend to be shy or abrasive or insecure or overly cautious or people often tell you to quit being so negative, you can learn to come from a place of yes.
A place of yes is an "It-will-happen-because-I'll-make-it-happen" kind of an attitude. And this is an "It-will-happen-because-you'll-make-it-happen" kind of a book. You won't always be in a place of yes. Bad things will happen. You'll get angry or depressed or negative. You'll doubt yourself and you'll sometimes be afraid. Occasionally, I utter the words, "I hate _____" (fill in the blank). Don't tell me there aren't days when you wake up and you just want to smack someone, and it would give you real joy to do it. I will not take the joy of thinking about it away from you.
I know what it feels like when your husband or your boyfriend leaves you all weekend to play golf or lies there like a corpse on the couch, his lazy ass watching football while you are cleaning the whole house. Does he sit in bed eating and farting, or flip the channels for twenty minutes, only to stop at the Victoria's Secret commercial as you sit next to him, eight months pregnant with hairy armpits? (Hmm, that sounds awfully familiar . . .) I've been annoyed by the loud breathing from someone behind me in a checkout line, by the instrumental music in a department store, by nosy people, rude waiters, or a coworker's mere existence. Frankly, sometimes I come from a place of go-screw-yourself.
This book isn't about being perfect, or even about being nice. It's about getting through your life in the best possible way for you, and learning how to stop getting in your own way. It's about making your life better, no matter what kind of person you are naturally.
It's about learning how to have and do and be anything you want.
It's important to understand that a place of yes isn't somewhere you are all the time. It's somewhere you always go back to. It's your home. It's the real you. The negativity you sometimes hide behind is just a protective shell you've built around yourself — a digression and a distraction from what you really want to be doing. Self-doubt is a bad habit. Fear is an excuse and a shield. Irritation is a sign of stress. Those things that keep you from saying yes and getting things done are habits you've learned, and habits can be broken. It's Not a Secret