You can’t get anywhere without yeses. There’s no way forward unless you give yourself permission to move forward. It’s like life is one big game of Mother May I.

“Take 5 giant steps forward.”

“Mother, May I?”

“Yes you may.”

And there you go. If life is a game, the Mother could be anyone. Most of the time, it’s you. You decide where to go, and how big your steps will be. You have to give yourself permission, or else no one else will. We’re too old to be asking for permission slips, and we aren’t cars so we don’t need validation either.

But there are times you do need to collect yeses from others. It may be your boss, allowing you to attend a big meeting. It may be your client, giving you the deal you’ve been yearning for, or your partner, allowing you the space you need to make a major decision. Movement depends on yeses, and you have to collect them. That means you have to start looking for them.

Yeses are everywhere. I got my first yes on my first night waitressing, then another yes when I was first allowed to try a case, then when I first appeared on TV, then when I first wrote a book, then when I first anchored a show, and then when I first gave a keynote. Everyone of those yeses took me to the next one, and I can see so many yeses laid out ahead of me like a shining yellow brick road.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE–TRY TO COLLECT YESES. The secret to collecting yeses is to ask the question. You’ll never get a yes if you don’t ask. Start asking for yeses, and remember that the first person to give you permission is always yourself. Remember, too, that sometimes you’ll get no’s. They can be just as valuable, because they teach you what’s not for you, and how not to ask. The no’s shouldn’t stop you, but they should give you pause. Learn from the no’s and then keep on collecting yeses. Your mantra for today is “Yes you may.”

Where do you want to find your yeses? Where are you most afraid of no? Share with us the yeses you will collect today, and what it is you will do with them. And say yes to sharing this. Remember, if you comment you get a little something, but the one person who shares the challenge the most gets a bigger something. Who wouldn’t say yes to that?