Monday, April 20, 2009

Say Yes and Enjoy!

The name of this website’s collection of blog is “Choose to Live.” This was spurred by my personal mission statement which is centered around making those daily choices to live life—take hold of as many opportunities as possible and embrace the experiences!

This is one of the ways I strive to live my life, but like everyone, we are not always perfect.

The past few weeks I have found myself saying yes  to more and more work/club related activities. Somehow if there is a group project in a class, I receive the automatic “leader of project” status and add yet another task on my check list. For those over-achievers like myself, this sounds wonderful at the time. We can go for weeks working our tail off and feeling good because we are productive; however, there comes a point where that brick/steal double plated wall smacks you in the face! You suddenly realize that you have been saying “yes” to too many of the wrong things. YES should come more often with those experiences that don’t go on your task list, but rather on your calendar as an exciting event you can’t wait for!

This Saturday night after a long week of work and meetings, I decided to take a personal night. I went to a redbox and rented the movie “Yes Man,” with Jim Carey. First off, anything with Jim Carey can put a smile on my face, so that was a bonus before the movie even began! Second, whether you are a movie person or not, this movie has a message everyone should hear!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes I picked up on:

“You say yes to the world and you will receive yes in return.

When you say yes to things, you embrace the impossible."  –“Yes Man” program Creator

“When you say no, you say no to life."  –“Yes Man” Program Creator

“Every time an opportunity presents itself, you will say yes."  –“Yes Man” program Creator

The world is a playground! We knew this as children but some how we forgot it.” –Girl Jim Carey Likes

The core message of the “Yes Man” movie is the get out of your normal routine and say yes to new experiences! My favorite quote was said by the character in the movie who Jim Carey ends up liking. She relates the world to a playground. For some reason, the older we get the more professional-minded we are conditioned to be. Because of this, we often forget about just how fun the simplest of activities can be. Swinging in an old tire swing, having a water fight, rolling around in the mud, or even just taking a hike and appreciating the beauty that surrounds you.


The key to stepping onto that playground we call the world…you must say yes. This doesn’t mean say yes to more work-related activities, no, I am talking about saying yes to those non-work and life-fulfilling engagements. The next time a friend asks you to go for a walk or dress up goofy for a movie premiere—say yes. Even when you think you want to say no, once you go you will not regret it.


-Take a Hike and see a sunset/sunrise

-Go to the park and play on the playground—they aren’t just there for kids!

-Start a book-study with friends

-Sign up for a run/walk that benefits a non-profit group

-Take a day for just you and some friends! Go fishing, shopping, take a road-trip, etc.

-Learn to play an instrument

-Hang out with that acquaintance you see in class each day; ask them out to coffee

-Do something random and special for a friend

-Buy flowers for your bedroom

-Have a dinner party with friends


I am guilty of being struck with the “over-achiever syndrome.” Yet, the important things is to be aware of when these over-committed times come and work to fix the way you spend your time. Why? Simple, because your happiness depends upon it.


Today, find time to say yes to a rejuvenating, fun, and out-of the-box life experience and “Choose to Live.”



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Connectedness--Power to Change the World

You’ve probably heard the saying that we are all six people away from knowing everyone in this world. Just this past year I met someone who is good friends with Chuck Norris’s mom, a person who has a friend that is related to Osama Benladen, and the neighbor of  Randy Owen from the country band Alabama. Through the people we know, and they people that they know, we could be connected to all 6.8 billion people on this earth.

Right now you may be thinking “Well that is neat Becky. But why should I really care?”

You should care because of this fact’s power.

For example…

Yesterday I was sitting in my boss’s office when one of my friends, Ashley, walked entered. Being a girl, I naturally looked down at her shoes (yes, I know, don’t make fun of my feminine behaviors).

“Are those TOMs Ashley?!"

“YEA! You have any, because if not you totally need to get some!”

With a confused face, my boss interrupted “What are these TOM shoes?”


Ashley then went on to tell us in the office about how TOM shoes is a company created to provide footwear for children in third world countries. TOM Shoes have a “One for One” philosophy. For every pair of shoes purchased, they provide a pair of shoes to a child in need.


I had heard about TOM shoes before, yet never really took the action to go online and order a pair. Seeing Ashley sporting her canvas green TOMS reminded me that this is something I had been wanting to do for some time. On their website ( it talks about how 4 out of the 6 billion people in this world live in conditions unthinkable to most.

A man named Black Mycoskie traveled to Argentina and found that many of the children there had no shoes. In order to reach food, water, and medical care they would often walk many miles barefoot. It was after Black’s experience in Argentina that he grouped together a group to create the TOM Shoes company. Today, TOM Shoes has delivered over 140,000m pairs of shoes to those in need. In 2009 their goal is to reach 300,000 shoes.

How is TOM Shoes going to be able to reach this goal to help our world’s children? Two words, our connectedness. When one person buys a pair of TOM shoes, they have the capability to wear that pair and share the story with their friends and family. Just as Ashley caught my eye and encouraged me to buy a pair of TOMS, you can do the same. If we are all truly six people away from knowing everyone in this world, why don’t we use that statistic to the advantage of others?  Why don’t we use our connections to others to serve those in more need than ourselves?

Just today, after doing my research, I have ordered my first pair of TOM shoes! They should be arriving to my house later this week, and when they do, you better believe I will be sporting the fashion of service and spreading the word!

Thank you to Ashley, and ALL those who use the power of our interwoven lives to promote the importance of helping others. All of us in this world, no matter our heritage, language, color, or demographic location, are connected somehow. Make the choice to serve our brothers and sisters, even in the smallest ways. Who knows, it could all start with a pair of shoes. J