The Yes Quest: How saying ‘yes’ for a whole month changed my life

The Yes Quest: How saying ‘yes’ for a whole month changed my life

Saying yes for a whole month created a thirst to push myself outside of my comfort zone and I discovered that this is where the magic is, writes Kate Christie.

Speed dating was not on my Life List of wondrous opportunities I wanted to experience. But there I was, at a bar on a school night well after my bedtime, waiting for my phone to ping announcing my first eight-minute date.

I cast a nervous look around – and just like high school, the girls were in one corner and the boys in another.

In all honesty, I would have been very happy to stay with the girls. There was a lot to learn and these women were all over it. They explained the rules of the game and pointed out which men were regulars on the speed dating circuit.

What? There’s a circuit? There are regulars? Can I leave before it starts? But before I could plan my escape, my phone pinged and a picture of Giles* popped up, rudely interrupting my chat with the nice, safe women.

After what can only be described as a cross between a treasure hunt without a map and a game of hide and seek, I lost two of my eight minutes looking for Giles, who was skulking behind a potted plant.

What ensued was six minutes of awkward chit-chat, with me asking Giles a lot of questions and Giles not asking one question at all. Brilliant. And so on and so forth for eight dates. I was exhausted after number three.

It was excruciating and hilarious, and all in aid of achieving my current Life List challenge – to say ‘yes’ for a whole month to every opportunity that presented itself. AKA: ‘The Yes Quest’.

I have always been a goal-setter. My rules of engagement are fairly simple: each goal I set must satisfy at least one of the following:

  • It must be challenging – physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
  • It must be outside my comfort zone. It must have the squirm factor.
  • It must be new; something I have never experienced before.
  • It must be glorious – joyful, exciting, purely audacious.

To be frank, I am also a bit of a control freak. In the past, I had always set my goals under tight, quality-controlled conditions involving a lot of planning.

And this was the exact reason why I set The Yes Quest in the first place. It was time to be spontaneous, let go of the reins, and plant myself firmly outside my safe little comfort zone.

The Life List by Kate Christie

The Life List by Kate Christie.

I never expected The Yes Quest to be ‘absolutely glorious’

Apart from speed dating, The Yes Quest saw me plummeting 30 metres in a coffin-like enclosure in a water park screaming my head off while my kids chanted my name; going to a dance club and dancing my tush off with a bunch of other 50+ women; trekking thigh-high up a stream in a jungle with a local river custodian to find a spiritual waterfall.

Each of The Yes Quest goals absolutely met the first three of my rules: challenging, outside my comfort zone, and new.

I had no expectation at all that The Yes Quest would also be absolutely glorious. But I was very, very wrong.

I experienced two big learnings from The Yes Quest.

First, while I would never in a million years, have undertaken any of the above experiences voluntarily or with any sense of enthusiasm if not for The Yes Quest, each and every one of them was absolutely glorious — hence unwittingly meeting my fourth Life List rule.

Second, my sense of enthusiasm for The Yes Quest became contagious and self-fulfilling. The more I said yes, the more fun I had, which made me say yes to the next quest, which led to more fun which led me to actually go looking for opportunities that I would previously never have explored.

I signed off The Yes Quest month with some relief and also a huge sense of momentum. But more than that, The Yes Quest unwittingly created a thirst to continue to push myself well outside of my comfort zone because I now know that this is where the magic is.

Sign me up again, please.


*obviously not his real name

Kate Christie

This article was written by Kate Christie.

It is an edited extract from her book The Life List: Master Every Moment and Live an Audacious Life. It has been published with the permission of the author and Wiley. Purchase a copy of the book here.