Say Yes to the Stress



“Will you officiate my wedding?”

Officiate your wedding? What?! I’ve attended at least 50 weddings—been a groomsman in more than 15 of them—but officiate? That’s some next level stuff. I’m not a minister. I’m not even a great public speaker. Who wants to listen to what I have to say about marriage?



(In the last post, I gave tips for how to get out of debt, budget, and stick to it when your expenses > income. Today was supposed to be about budgeting when expense = income, but I want to talk a little more about this first.)

After we hung up, I sat there and thought about what I just committed to do. Every minute I thought about it, the fear grew inch by inch until I couldn’t see past its edges. I’m going to be speaking about something important to two important people to me and to the hundreds of people important to them, on one of their most important days.

Months away, I felt the weight of the moment. I needed help.

Asking For Advice

So I connected with someone who would relate. His higher up asked him to start giving TED-type talks and engaging in diplomacy with powerful politicians, even though you would never ask someone with his experience to do that kind of work.

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him that I was a nobody. That they won’t listen to me. That I’m not articulate or witty enough,” he said. ” Then I told him ‘yes.’”

“… So how did it go? What did you do?” I asked.

“I parted the Red Sea.”

Stress Test

We face two kinds of stress. They feel the same, so we confuse them, but they are very different.

There’s the stress of not being able to pay your bills or being late to a meeting. This type of stress drains life from you. I hate this kind of stress.

Then there’s the stress of public speaking, learning a completely new skill in your 30s, or running a Tough Mudder. This type of stress is life giving, the kind that stretches you and makes you realize that you’re stronger than you think you are (which is what I tell my kids all the time).

Here are 3 ways to say “yes” to good stress:

  1. Expose the wizard. Everyone has that voice of fear saying you can’t or you aren’t good enough. When you look behind the curtain, you’ll see that the voice comes from an ugly, little rat that you’ve allowed power over your choices, causing you to miss out on living life to the fullest. Fire that rat without severance pay. It no longer has authority to control your life.
  2. Focus less on who you are and more on what you could be, even if you might fail. The outcome here is not important. You will grow from this experience, and your life will be better for it.
  3. Say “yes” and then figure out how you’re going to accomplish it. The power of “yes” is that once you’ve said it, you’ve committed. Once you’ve committed, you’ll be surprised at what you’re able to do to meet your commitment.

The Wedding

It was one of the best things I’ve ever been a part of. And I would’ve never experienced it if I didn’t say “yes.”

My homily was about how commitments precede feelings of love, that when times get bad (and they will), you don’t rely on your feelings of love to get you through. Instead be confident that you both made a commitment to each other, so figure out how to get through the tough times together.

Remember that you said “yes.”


You’re in a debt spiral. You’re paralyzed with fear. I’ve asked you to do some uncomfortable things (make a budget, live on cash, cut your cable TV, run twice a week)—things you might not have done before. I hope you’ll take me up on it not because I asked you to, but because you want financial health for yourself and your family.

I hope you’ll say “yes.”

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  • amileinmyshoes September 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Another motivating post!

  • jsant1214 September 23, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Great post! You gave me the push I needed to cancel my gym membership. I haven’t gone in a few months because it’s easier to workout at home with the equipment I have or go jogging and enjoy nature.. either way I kept putting off canceling my membership because “one day,” so tomorrow I’m visiting the gym and tomorrow will be that “one day.” 👍🏻

  • 8 Blogging Tips: Everything I Did Wrong – just making cents November 17, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    […] I also agreed to give a 2.5 hour money seminar next year (2.5 hours?!). Of course I said yes to the stress. What did I just get myself […]


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