Danny Wallace, the founder of the Join Me movement, found himself at a juncture in his life. He could continue living his life the way he had been for quite some time, staying in at night and watching television. Or, he could embrace the word Yes, and see where it could take him. Yes Man is the story of just where Yes took him.
Wallace makes a pact with himself to say “Yes” to most anything for a year. This doesn’t include obvious criminal questions like, “Will you rob that back over there?” or incredibly stupid questions like, “Will you give me all your money?” However, it does include questions like, “Would you like to come to my party on Thursday?” even if said party is three hours from his home and will most likely be populated with incredibly boring people. If you ask him if he’d like to go out for a curry on a rainy Friday night when he’d much rather be at home on the sofa, he’d say “Yes.” This book explores both the power of Yes to take us where we haven’t gone before, but also the power of No to keep from going to those same places. Wallace discovers that Yes is a powerful word that can create change in his life whether or not he seeks it. Many of the changes in Wallace’s life are both positive, and long-lasting. While using Yes so indiscriminately Wallace’s personal and professional lives both take a turn towards the unexpected yet positive.
In the hands of a lesser author, this story would not have been nearly so amusing and interesting. Fortunately, Wallace is a gifted writer with a sharp sense of humor and a keen eye. If nothing else, the stories of his missteps and battles with a Nemesis will surely cause one to laugh out loud more than once over the course of the book.
Yes Man isn’t likely to make the anyone’s list of life-changing books. Nor is it likely to make any lists of great literature. However, it is an interesting, insightful, and amusing look at the choices that we all make everyday using the words “Yes” and “No”.