Year of Yes (Discussion)

Yes of Yes | February Book Club Discussion (
I watch Scandal and Grey's Anatomy religiously, so I knew I'd love a book that was also written by Shonda Rhimes. When I first started reading Year of Yes, I knew I could pull out a few points to talk about in this discussion. But, by the time I got to the end, my book was filled with sticky notes highlighting the things I thought were most important!

I hope you've been reading along with me, but if not, don't worry! In this discussion, I'll write about what I really loved from the book. To participate in the discussion, you just have to leave a comment! I'll be responding to comments all day and I encourage you to comment on other readers posts as well, hence the discussion. If you haven't read it yet, please still feel free to comment on the posts. Since this isn't a fiction book, the ending won't be spoiled. And the topics are pretty universal, so you will be able to follow along.

Let's get started!

1. Say yes to things that scare or challenge you.

Now I don't mean actually scary things. I mean go on a solo trip to meet new people at a scrapbooking conference, or finally try online dating, or go back to school to get that degree you've been wanting. Say yes to new opportunities. That's what this whole book is about. Get out of your comfort zone and experience something new. Conquer something that has been challenging you. Maybe it won't be for you, but you'll never know if you avoid it out of fear. This is what Shonda does and it's life changing for her. She talks about her obstacles, but she also shows that she got through them. For me, this blog is a yes. It took a long time to finally start it. I was always worried about people reading my work and being judged. Or worried people would think I'm silly for spending so much time on crafts or taking a billion photos to get the perfect one. Then I realized, this isn't for them. It's for me. And I enjoy doing it. I have fun taking a ton of photos and I like writing. And I think my family in the future will enjoy reading what I write. Find what scares you or chanllenges you or makes you feel goofy and do it. Put in the work and move past your obstacles. Say yes and see where it takes you. 
2. "I just didn't own the wig." 
Shonda says this as she describing how she felt when she learned Whitney Houston wore a wig. The exact quote might not fit with your life, but the idea behind it does. Stop comparing yourself to other people. You'll never know what's going on behind the scenes of another person. It can be hard, especially when the internet and Instagram shows you how perfectly other people live. But you never get the full picture from an Instagram post or by reading a blog. Stop comparing or copying and put that energy into developing your own style. 
3. Find your happy place.
You can also look at this as find your passion. Or find your pleasure. Where are you happy and content? Are you able to be filled up while hiking or exercising? Do that. Does making art restore you? Then make art. Does going out for coffee with a friend make you feel refreshed? Schedule regular coffee dates with a friend. Figure out where you get your energy, your calm, your power from and be sure to make time for that thing. 
4. "Nothing works until you are really ready for it to work."
This quote is used in the book when Shonda talks about losing weight. But I think it could be used in a variety of ways. Maybe you hate your job and want to start your own business. If you're comfortable (as in you get paid well and have benefits, not happy) in your other job and you're too afraid to start something new, you probably aren't ready to leave. Maybe something will change one day, you'll shift your mind-set, and you'll be ready to put in the hard work to leave your job and start the company you've been dreaming about.This might look different for you, but you won't see any change unless you are ready to do the work.

5.  Love yourself first.
I feel like I've been seeing this around the internet a lot recently. When I was stuck in the "nothing works until you're ready" phase, I used to think it was just talk. I was envious of people who had the confidence to post a picture with #loveyourselffirst in the caption. Then I started my personal growth kick. I started to see the glow these confident people had. And I saw the way others responded to those people. "People like being around whole, healthy, happy people." If you change the way you feel about yourself, other people are going to change the way they see you too. Like Shonda said, "I want to feel free to swagger." While the six words that got her started on this challenge were "you never say yes to anything," I think this is the real root of the problem. I think this is the root of the problem for me too. How can I expect others to feel inspired by me and my work if I don't feel that way about myself? If you feel like this might be your issue too, work on personal growth. Read some books. Listen to podcasts. Get out and hike or go to the gym or for a run. Create something. Work on your mind and your body and I know you'll feel your mind-set shift and others will notice it too.

5.5 "Unhappy people do not like it when a fellow unhappy person becomes happy."
This has been an issue for me in the past. If you find that when you are working on yourself and a family member or friend or coworker or boyfriend is still unhappy and is trying to bring you back down. Let. Them. Go. I don't say this lightly. I know this is a super hard step. For you this might look like a family member and that can be hard. Or a long time boyfriend or girlfriend or the person you're married too, which might be even harder. If you are working your butt off to become your best self, do not let someone else drag you back down. Let them go and keep moving on your way. You can't let anyone stand in your way of becoming a happy, healthier person.

6. "I am different. I am an original. And like everyone else, I am here to take up space in the universe. I do so with pride."
I really don't have much to add to this. I absolutely love this. As a new blogger, it's hard to feel like there is still room on the internet. But I'm here to take up space in the internet. I have a voice and thoughts and ideas and I'm going to share them. This might look different for you depending on where you are in life, but you're here to take up space too. Do so with pride. Also, this is a great mantra to repeat. Create your own mantras or find quotes that inspire you and say them often. Write them down on post-its and stick them all over your house

I'll end my portion of the discussion here. This was definitely longer than I had expected. And I feel like I could keep going. This book was so inspirational! I hope that you enjoyed the book or have decided you want to read it now. 

To join in the discussion, leave a comment with something you loved from the book or from the discussion post. You could tell me what is challenging you, where your happy place is, or a favorite mantra you use. Or if you have any favorite books or podcasts related to these topics, I'd love to hear about them.

Thank you so so much for joining me in my first book club discussion. Next month we will be reading Fangirl and the discussion will be on March 30th! Thanks again and I can't wait to hear your thought on Year of Yes! xo. Laura


  1. February 24, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    I have heard really amazing things about this book… thanks for the review /resume. Ill have to check it out.Lisa

  2. February 26, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    Its really good! I highly recommend it!Laura

  3. Sarah B.
    February 28, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    What a great post! Thanks for all the detail! I had a lot of fun reading this book and Im so glad that you recommended it. One of my favorite sections was “I just didnt own the wig”. It is so easy to compare yourself to other people but its totally unproductive. A good reminder that things are not always as they appear to be. As school continues to be insanely busy, I have been trying really hard to focus on finding my happy place. It is so worth it to spend time doing things that really fill me up and bring joy. Loving myself first and actively changing my mindset has been a really huge thing too! Im trying to not be afraid to be myself and say what Im thinking. Adjusting to the move has been hard and Ive been nervous about being too vulnerable. Im training myself to put myself out there and not be afraid of what others might think. Though I am pretty extroverted, I identified strongly with Shondas stories of overcoming stage fright and the desire to stay at home instead of going out and saying yes to things. Im ready to say yes!! Overall, it was a great read and a really helpful! I feel like Im really on a path of personal growth this year. Lets do this, 2016!

  4. February 28, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    Ohhh, I NEED this book! Thank you so so much! I start my #4timesspring challenge tomorrow! Its a little sport/ workout challenge which celebrates the start of Spring šŸ™‚ Maybe this is something for you too šŸ™‚ x

  5. February 29, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    Thank you! Im glad you enjoyed it. Comparing yourself is totally unproductive! Its best to use the energy to create your own style. Have you found your happy place at school? I think we about identify with Shondas fears. Im ready to say yes too! Im so glad youre joining me on the personal growth path this year! Its going to be great!

  6. February 29, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    I seen this book at the airport but didnt buy it and now I see it everywhere. From your thoughts and the important points youve drawn out above, I think it is one I should read! Li :)

  7. March 1, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    Love this post lovely, being a total bookworm I love to read others reviews and recommendations for a good read and this seems a must buy for me! Thanks for sharing, and Im looking forward to your next book post!Elizabeth

  8. March 3, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    Its a really great book! I think you should read it too ;)-Laura

  9. March 4, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    Thank you for reading it! I hope you like the book!-Laura

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