5 Lessons from “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler

1. Be An Open-Faced Sandwich

“So let’s peek behind the curtain and hail others like us. The open-faced sandwiches who take risks and live big and smile with all of their teeth. These are the people I want to be around. This is the honest way I want to live and love and write.”

We should all aspire to be an open-faced sandwich who takes risks and lives big and smiles with all of our teeth. My existence as an open-faced sandwich ebbs and flows. I go through periods of not taking big risks where I live as a small, tightly wound ball of stress. But people are drawn to those who are kind, attentive, unreserved, plain-spoken, and unapologetic.

2. Mystery is Overrated

“A war waged between my jokey and protective brain and my squishy and tender heart. I have realized that mystery is what keeps others away, and I’ve grown tired of smoke and mirrors. I yearn for the clean, well-lighted place.”

I embrace my jokey and protective brain and ignore my squishy and tender heart. I like that mystery keeps people away. I like locking myself away and I hate taking on a lot of people’s energy. I think mystery and privacy can be very valuable and rare. The publicness of the modern world and the “Look at me! Look at me!” mentality intimidates me, and I overcompensate by holding things close to the vest. I choose my moments carefully. However, I do hope to find a good, clean, well-lighted place that is more appealing than mystical semblances, but it can take a long time to find your voice and seize your real estate.

3. Find Your Currency

“I had already made a decision early on that I would be a plain girl with tons of personality, and accepting it made everything a lot easier. If you are lucky, there is a moment in your life when you have some say as to what your currency is going to be. I decided early on it was not going to be my looks. I have spent a lifetime coming to terms with this idea and I would say I am about 15 to 20 percent there….Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have.”

It’s not easy to pinpoint one piece of yourself that you believe could carry you through life. The only thing I can absolutely say for sure about myself is that I don’t struggle with being taken seriously. I’m not always approachable or inviting, but it can sometimes come in handy. One friend more positively described me as someone who “demands respect.” So for now I’ll go with it.

4. Laugh A Lot

“Going from crying to laughing fast and hard happens maybe five times in your life and that extreme right turn is the reason why we are alive, and I believe it extends our life by many years.”

I would have never survived the year 2012 if it weren’t for the constant, dramatic shifts between crying and laughing. The only truly effective weapon we have in life is laughter. I can’t go a single day without watching at least a few minutes of some kind of comedy – stand-up, improv, sitcoms, late night talk shows, etc. If I didn’t fall on the floor laughing at least once that day, then what was the point?

5. Do It. Don’t Think.

“You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing. That is what I know.”

Say yes and figure it out later. This is one of those things that is a lot easier said than done, but it’s so important to start taking small steps rather than waiting for the perfect moment to make one huge step.

To sum it all up:

“Life is crunchy and complicated and all the more delicious.”

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