No.

The two shortest sentences available to us in the English language —

Yes.

No.

You know that movie with Jim Carrey where his entire life changes because he starts to say yes to everything? I get it, but he was really only saying yes to the most dramatic invitations. The movie would have been much less exciting if he was asked questions like “Is this water fountain really a water fountain?” YES! “Are you going to go to work today just as you did yesterday?” YES! “Are you actively engaged in your life?” YES! “Should you continue as you always have?” YES!

Generally, as human beings, I think “yes” is a tool for change only when faced with questions to which we usually say “no.”

I’d like to argue that we say yes much more than we say no, whether we think about it or not.

Yes is fast, agreeable, accepting, and dangerous.

No is slow, it is both a sentence and a question, no rejects the old and provides space for the new.

No stops the words that clutter our conceptions. No infiltrates all the yes’s upon yes’s upon yes’s and like a child reading the pictures of a book allows us to change our story.

Yes says “this is”; No says “maybe it’s not”.

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