Famous American actor and comedian, Bill Murray, was one time in a cab for an hour long drive from Oakland to Sausalito.
He started (like he does) talking to the cab driver. He asked the driver what he does when he’s not driving a cab.
“I like to play the sax”.
“How often do you practice?” Bill said.
“Not very often. Busy driving this cab.”
“Where’s the sax now?”
“In the trunk.”
“Can you play the sax to me please? I just want to hear.”
“I cannot play while driving”
Bill told the cab driver to pull over. Bill said, “Guess what. I know how to drive a car also.”
They got out and Bill said, “Get the sax”.
Then they switched places. Bill drove the rest of the ride.
The cab driver sat in the back and played the saxophone for an audience of just one, the new driver.
Often in life, we want people to do certain things and we want them to say yes for those as we ask. Be it asking boss for salary increment, asking employee to work extra hours, asking investor to invest in your business venture, asking buyer to buy your product or even proposing someone and asking her to accept your love proposal.
Most times in such situations we get to hear “no” and we get disappointed, dispirited and sometimes angry or frustrated.
We start blaming people “He just wanted to waste time”.
We start undermining ourselves “I don’t have what it takes to get this done”.
We start doubting possibilities “I don’t think its possible”
Or we just simply accept the “no” and remain where we are.
Imagine if you always heard yes no matter what you asked?
Imagine how much would your life be transformed if you mastered the skill of always hearing yes, no matter what you asked and what you wanted – good or evil, even the most impossible thing you believe there is.
If we break down the Bill Murray incidence, there are 3 elements which, if we apply in our lives we can almost always guarantee to hear “yes” in answer.
Courage to ask:
Few years back, when I started my first company, I did not have money to start. Registration fee, one small room to work, a computer (at least old and functional) and some money to market my service were looking INR. 75,000 something (about 1500 dollars back then) and I just had about 50,000, the money I’ve earned and saved via freelancing that I’ve been doing along with engineering. I wanted to take loan from someone, but that would make me look small. What if they say no? I kept holding it back for good few months, and then one day I chosen to ask, despite of my doubts and fear of rejection.
Some of the people indeed said no and ridiculed me, but one of my friends gave me a loan of INR. 25,000 and here’s how my venture finally begun.
If I look back now, I’d have not been able to serve so many clients, generate millions in sales and transform so many lives that I could over the years.
I would have never been what I am right now if I just held back the question and hadn’t asked for the loan.
Bill did not know the driver, was meeting him for the first time and had no idea how would he react when he asked him to play sax in the middle of a drive. He still chosen to ask than holding it back, not worrying what’ll happen next.
How many times in life we hold back our questions thinking that this isn’t possible or that they won’t say yes and hence there’s no point asking?
A lot of the questions die inside the heart way before they come out because we pre-conceive “no” before asking them.
First secret to always hear yes is to ask those questions instead of pre-conceiving the answer.
If you at all have to pre-conceive, think only that you’re listening yes and nothing else, no matter how impossible the questions would sound like.
Learn to hear “no”
“No” is just two letters but has turned down so many dreams, aspirations, plans, offers and possibilities. Most times when we hear “no”, we think as if we’ve done something wrong, that we’re not capable enough or that the person saying know does not understand us.
In reality, true leaders know that the real win comes when we choose to go beyond the “no” word. Think about it. When bill asked cab driver to play sax, driver outrightly denied and said no. Bill however chosen to go beyond denial and only then the “yes” moment came.
From the moment we take birth, we get to hear no more often than yes– “No, Don’t touch that”, “No, don’t go there”, “No, don’t eat the chips”…
We are told no so much more than we are ever told yes during the course of growing up, so why is it as adults that hearing the word no can be so devastating?
Shouldn’t we be used to it by now?
“You can achieve virtually anything you want–if you’re willing to hear ‘no’ often enough”
If you’re only listening yes and avoiding no, you’re living a mediocre life that’s stuck in the comfort zone.
Accept that you’re going to hear no, but consider that just a path to hearing yes and not a stop sign. Take it as a challenge and go beyond no so that you can ultimately hear yes.
Make them an offer they can’t refuse
I used to be an intelligent guy in school. Once, a classmate asked me if I can do his homework as he does not know answers of the questions that have been asked. I had my own studies, why would I do homework for someone else, and hence I plain rejected the request. He then said “Hey I’ve got this new packet of chocolates that my dad got from US just yesterday. Would you need that? It’ll only take you 20-25 minutes to get this homework done and I’ll be happy to give you this entire packet of imported chocolates if you’d like to help me”. He even shown me the packet. It was big, full of delicious chocolates that I’ve never eaten.
I jumped out of my bench, taken the copy from him and got the homework done as quick as I could possibly do.
When cab driver denied bill, saying that he can’t play sax while driving, bill told him to sit at his place and drive cab in his behalf so that he can play sax – an offer he couldn’t just resist.
The secret to hear yes is to give them offer they cannot refuse. Yes It’ll make you do something you may have never tried, might sound strange and impossible, but that’s where the real win lies. That’s where the ultimate super power exist that you can turn any obvious no to resounding yes, every time.
Go beyond the obvious, Do something unimagined and the “yes” awaits for you. No matter what is it that you need.
It does take courage, practice and creativity to ensure that you always hear yes, but looking at the enormous possibilities that you can grab by listening yes to all you asked for, they’re worth doing, starting from right now!