Note: I am proud to introduce you to my business partner, sharing his thoughts here for the first time with “Say YES”. I admire Thabiso’s view of the world, he often makes me question the way I think about things and this has provided me tremendous growth at a personal and professional level. In this post, I love how he makes us think about how effortlessly perfection can occur if we would allow it, like the development of a child in the womb. My favourite nugget comes at the end where he talks about how we put ourselves in places and situations that have nothing to do with our purpose. Enjoy this food for thought…
In the beginning of your life you didn’t have a choice but to sit still. All you were was an embryo and all you could do was be still. So many things were not in your control, your hands and fingers needed to grow, your hair, your nose, your heart needed to beat, your brain needed to start forming, your bones needed to develop a certain way, so many things had to fall in place and you had nothing to do with it. Yet here you are, and you have the nerve to think that you are in control. Ever thought that maybe things started falling apart when you were taught that you have to do something about your life? What if this led you to want things that you either didn’t have or you didn’t even know? What if what you need is right in front of you and you just have to say YES? That idea that you have, that feeling to ask that girl out, that thought to just walk out in the opposite direction, that urge to ask that question in the meeting, that moment to tell your partner how you really feel…what if you said YES to all of it? What if these are the doors that you’re constantly choosing not to walk through? That idea could change your life, that girl could teach you true friendship or become your wife, that opposite direction could be a long-lost friend seeking help only to help you in return, that question could land you a promotion, your partner could be feeling the same or use to feel the same and knows what you really need.
I’ve recently been reading and listening to a lot of Alan Watts, and one thing he said in one of his talks is that we want to believe that we came to earth, and death is the exit. This is not true, in reality we come from the earth. What if the earth knows where you have to be and what you need to do? While earth was in control, in the guise of mother nature, it made sure you were completely formed in your mother’s womb, then you decided to take over, now you’re here. What would happen if you were to let earth finish with you? I have pondered on this idea for a while and came to a realization that I’m not 100% responsible for where I am today – this is contrary to the many books I’ve read about taking responsibility to gain control of your life. It seems to me that life happens with or without you, but you’re still a part of it. Doors will open, and you’ll always have a choice to walk through. What this force is I don’t know, but it’s hard understand, like trying to catch a butterfly, yet when you sit still, the butterfly just decides to rest on you.
After university I moved in with a friend and his girlfriend. He offered, I said YES…to sleep on his floor next to my computer and studio monitors. This was a very awkward time for me. One morning I decided to go the JSE in Sandton to enquire about starting an investment company. I decided to take some of the money I had, which wasn’t much, and register for the Equity Traders exam (required if one is to be hired as a professional trader). I then opened a Sanlam iTrade account and bought the JSE stock handbook. Inside the book there were 2 things of which I said YES to – one was a stock that looked undervalued at the time, Metorex, a mining stock. Second was an advertisement – CNBCAfrica was looking for interns that majored in journalism. I completely missed the part about a qualification in journalism and said YES, why not. Long story short, I became an assistant producer for one of the biggest financial market shows (Closing Bell) in 6 months. Here I met my future employer, CEO of Investec, I said YES. A year down the line I’m in private banking, a team leader tells me about their uncle who works with SAP Systems, I said ‘Where do I even start?’. A friend who worked for Investec resigns to start his own company and works part time as a recruiter, he asks me if I’d be interested in making a move into Information Technology, I said YES…
The story is quite long, but I’m beginning to think that our future keeps nagging us and we keep saying no; No, we’re too busy. No, I have to do this. No, I’m too tired. No, I don’t have time…yet we don’t even own the time, worse we’re not even in control. By the way, with Metorex, I said YES and 4 months down the line the share price tripled as it was being bought by another company, made all my money back.
In short, I said YES to the idea and sold beats online. I said yes to that feeling and asked that girl out – she became my best friend. 5 years into the relationship, that moment came, and I told her how I really felt, that I didn’t know if I loved her. She smiled and said, “You keep doing you, I know why I’m here and I’m not going anywhere”. Three years later I proposed to her in front of 5 000 people at a concert, live on stage with her favourite band – she said YES. I walked out in the opposite direction to help a friend with a big cloud implementation project, today we’re running a 5 million Rand business.
Allow yourself to live your life and stop doubting or second guessing everything that’s in front of you. Just sit still and say YES. Many people will say, “I always say yes and that is my problem”. The issue here is not saying YES, it’s that you’re saying YES to things that you don’t actually want or need. You are chasing, not listening and sitting still to see the situations where your skills and experience are needed. People put themselves in positions and situations that have nothing to do with their purpose. Go to the beginning – look at what you have, not what you want. Look at who you know, not who you read about. Say YES to who you really are…not who you think you are.