Less “Yes” More “HELL YEAH!”

Written by SeanRitchey on March 27, 2011

Today, I was thinking about a blog post that Derek Sivers wrote in 2009, called No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no.  The post can be summed up in Sivers’ words like this:

If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then say no.

Meaning: When deciding whether to commit to something, if I feel anything less than, “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” – then my answer is no.

I feel like I’ve spent much of my life aspiring to this [rather extreme] decision making model – using it more as a guiding principle than dogmatic doctrine.

Currently, I’m working full time doing something that doesn’t make me say “HELL YEAH” but which I recognize as having immense educational value for me personally (building an extremely high-end second home for someone).  I have a conversation with myself on a nearly daily basis, where I questions whether I should be living more boldly, pushing myself harder (but compassionately) to reach my fuller potential – doing work and living in a way that feel like a more authentic expression of my beliefs and passions.

Is becoming a master builder really a skill-set I want to devote 10,000 hours developing in this life? Probably not.  But does deepening my [already pretty good] mechanical skills as a builder seems useful and in line with my life goals?  Yes.

More and more, I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m not prewired to become a master at any one, clearly definable thing.  So far, I seem to have proven good at learning something about or getting good at a lot of different things, and then finding connections and leverage points between then to make successful combinations.

Building mastery tends to be about drawing clearly defined framework around a specific set of knowledge and skills, and then devoting the time (usually at least 10,000 hours) of practice and experimentation to hone mastery within that framework.  Ironically, what I seem to be really good at is drawing lots of different frameworks around situation, that allow for new and alternative possibilities.

In some ways, I see my life as an experiment in the art of possibility.  This consists of seeing how much I can expand the framework I’m drawing around my life and the world around me to open up new and exciting possibilities.

But where does that leave me today?  Who knows.  But I feel grateful to be living a life so full and abundant that I even need to ask myself these kind of questions.  What a gift, to have the space, privilege and support to conduct these kinds of experiments in the art of possibility.  What a gift it is to be alive.

And, I think perhaps my life is due for a little more “HELL YEAH!”  Why not?

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