The power of “Yes”

I was walking Grace this week and decided to take one of her favorite paths up behind Crescent Beach. The path alternated between open dry grass in the sunny areas, and a mix of snow and ice in the tree-shaded areas. I was carefully choosing my steps with Grace off-leash when I heard voices up ahead. I could see a couple of moms with little kids so I clipped on Grace’s leash.

Grace the dogJust as the leash clicked, Grace spotted their dog and with a “woof” of greeting, took off at full tilt with me riding behind her, on my butt, across what turned out to be a particularly icy stretch of path.

It turned out fine – both dogs were super friendly when we let them off leash for a romp. But I decided the forest path was out for the rest of the winter.

When I told my business partner, Sarah, about our misshapen adventure, she reminded me of how devastating a fall can be and recommended YakTrax to keep a firmer grip on the ice.

My first reaction was, “No”.

  • I mix dog walking with running and don’t want to carry spikes when I’m running on non-icy parts of a path.
  • If I didn’t wear the spikes the whole time, I’d have to stop and put them on while attempting to walk the dog which doesn’t sound like fun.
  • I don’t like to spend money on things I may not use very often.

So I was just no, no, no and ready to never walk this path again.

But this morning I woke up thinking about ways I could carry spikes with me while I ran. And what difference did it make if I ended up sitting on the ice to put them on – it was where I ended up anyway! At least I’d have a braking system. And wasn’t my health worth an investment in outdoor gear?

Finally in a “yes” mode, I looked up YakTrax and guess what? They aren’t spikes – they’re a traction system that easily slips over your shoes. And they’re only about $20 which is cheaper than a co-payment at my doctor’s office.

So a pair is on the way and I’ll be safe to walk wherever Grace wants to go. And I do live in Maine so of course, these will get good use.

But this isn’t an ad for YakTrax. It’s an ad for the power of saying “YES”. When I shifted mental gears, I came up with solutions. And then with further investigation, found out my “no’s” didn’t even make sense.

I ran into this same “Yes” issue last week with a participant at a talk on Organizational Zen. She said she wanted to get organized but didn’t want to use a planner. She had too much to do to prioritize tasks and to plan in time for them. And a planner would be bulky in her purse which was already full.

“All true,” I said. “But don’t you want to get stuff done?”

She sent me a note this week and has purchased a planner. She said “yes” and figured out how to make something happen rather than say “no” and continue to live with the status quo.


Conversely, there is a tremendous power to saying “No”. Like when the club you joined five years ago is no longer fun. Or when the volunteer work you used to love is now taking up all of your free time and doesn’t bring you joy. Or when you’re hanging around a crowd that drains your energy. Or when you have habits that aren’t healthy and need to be broken.

The trick to the power of “Yes” and the power of “No” is taking time to reflect on your intent in whatever it is you’re doing. To understand what motivates you and brings to joy. And to be curious about and think through your options.

Wouldn’t you walk across the ice to see this beauty? Say “yes”! 🙂

Cape Elizabeth icy beach

Red sands of Cape Elizabeth




4 thoughts on “The power of “Yes”

  1. You should meet Jim KomLosy who grew up on Chebeague and took a very unexpected water-skiing trip behind his St. Bernard one morning on a dewy golf course. YES to the grippy things! I found some at the Yarmouth Hardware store that are made in Biddford, I think. No more trips to the compost fearing for my life (or at least fearing that I’m gonna make the return trip WEARING the garbage I’m toting!). Can’t wait to meet the pup.


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