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Home » Shonda Rhimes: My Year of Saying Yes To Everything at TED Conference (Transcript)

Shonda Rhimes: My Year of Saying Yes To Everything at TED Conference (Transcript)

Shonda Rhimes

Television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes presents My Year of Saying Yes To Everything at TED. Here is the full transcript of the TED talk.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: My year of saying yes to everything – Shonda Rhimes

TRANSCRIPT: 

So a while ago, I tried an experiment. For one year, I would say yes to all the things that scared me. Anything that made me nervous, took me out of my comfort zone, I forced myself to say yes to. Did I want to speak in public? No, but yes. Did I want to be on live TV? No, but yes. Did I want to try acting? No, no, no, but yes, yes, yes.

And a crazy thing happened: the very act of doing the thing that scared me undid the fear, made it not scary. My fear of public speaking, my social anxiety, poof, gone. It’s amazing, the power of one word. Yes changed my life. Yes changed me. But there was one particular yes that affected my life in the most profound way, in a way I never imagined, and it started with a question from my toddler.

I have these three amazing daughters, Harper, Beckett and Emerson, and Emerson is a toddler who inexplicably refers to everyone as “honey.” as though she’s a Southern waitress.

“Honey, I’m going to need some milk for my sippy cup.”

The Southern waitress asked me to play with her one evening when I was on my way somewhere, and I said, “Yes.” And that yes was the beginning of a new way of life for my family. I made a vow that from now on, every time one of my children asks me to play, no matter what I’m doing or where I’m going, I say yes, every single time. Almost. I’m not perfect at it, but I try hard to practice it. And it’s had a magical effect on me, on my children, on our family. But it’s also had a stunning side effect, and it wasn’t until recently that I fully understood it, that I understood that saying yes to playing with my children likely saved my career.

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