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Yes Lives in the Land of No: A Tale of Triumph Over Negativity

Yes Lives in the Land of No: A Tale of Triumph Over Negativity

by B. J. Gallagher

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In this wise little parable, readers follow a narrator who ventures into the Land of No in search of Yes. He learns by watching others as they search, flounder, and eventually become disillusioned by seemingly inevitable rejection. Though each of the characters is passionate about their cause, they all fail because they do not effectively deal with the obstacles


In this wise little parable, readers follow a narrator who ventures into the Land of No in search of Yes. He learns by watching others as they search, flounder, and eventually become disillusioned by seemingly inevitable rejection. Though each of the characters is passionate about their cause, they all fail because they do not effectively deal with the obstacles they face. By watching their mistakes, the narrator learns how to persevere despite the Nos, and ultimately succeeds in finding the elusive Yes. Through his journey, readers discover how they, too, can persist in the face of frequent Nos — both Nos uttered by those around them and, even more significantly, the Nos sounded by their own inner voice. The parable comes complete with quizzes, tips, checklists, and how-to strategies that enable readers to achieve goals and deal with rejection, roadblocks, and negativity.

Product Details

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
BK Life (Hardcover) Series
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 8.62(h) x 0.69(d)

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Read an Excerpt

YES Lives in the Land of NO

A Tale of Triumph over Negativity
By BJ Gallagher Steve Ventura

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 BJ Gallagher
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-57675-339-2

Chapter One


    The Land of NO
    is a discouraging place —
    populated by frowns
        and shrugs,
          scowls and
           furrowed brows.

    Everyone is so solemn,
        so somber,
            so deadly serious,
    you'd think they were expecting
        the end of the world.

    If you have an idea,
        Naysayers point out
            how "it will never work."

    If you're looking for opportunity,
        doors are politely but firmly
            shut in your face.

    If a project excites you,
        a wet blanket is promptly dispatched.

    And heaven forbid
        you should dream of new possibilities!
    There are more than enough
        Soldiers of Stagnation
            to trample your spirit.

    Despite all that,
        I keep traveling to
            the Land of NO —
    not because I love it so,
    but because of what I learned some time ago:

    The Land of NO
        is where YES lives.



    YES lives in the Land of NO.

    "It is a most curious thing,"
        I've often thought
        and remarked to others,
    "how YES resides
        with all his Negative Neighbors."

    And it's definitely a challenge
        to find YES at all
    in the midst of such
        Sorrowful Souls.

    How strange,
        how odd,
            how perplexing,
    and also
        how frustrating!

    So what's a person to do —
    a person like me
        in search of YES?

    In the beginning,
    my forays into the Land of NO
    were dismal failures.

    I bumbled and fumbled,
        wobbled and bobbled.
    All those NOs really threw me.

    My intentions were good,
        my idealism high,
    but I was young,
            and naive.

    When I encountered a NO,
        I'd get stopped in my tracks.

    Sometimes I'd sulk,
        sometimes I'd seethe,
            and every once in a great while
            I even cried.

    I wanted so desperately
    to find a YES,
        but I hadn't a clue
        how to do that.

    I looked around
    and saw others
        making their way
        into the Land of NO.

    "Maybe I should watch them
    and see how it's done,"
        I thought to myself.
    "They obviously know something
    I don't know."

    The first person I chose to watch
    was my good friend N. Thusiasm.
    He's a very excitable fellow
        who's often bubbling over
            with lots of good ideas.

    I've always enjoyed
        his zest and his verve.

    His energy was high
    as he rushed into the Land of NO
        one day.

    He didn't take much time
        to look around.
    He just burst through
        the first doorway he came to.

    Don Rock de'Boat looked up
        from the pile of papers
            on his desk.

    "N. Thusiasm,
        how are you today?"

    N. Thusiasm couldn't contain himself.
    He told Don all about
    his idea
    for a new kind of widget
        he thought
            the Land of NO should make.

    Don Rock de'Boat listened politely
    as N. Thusiasm rattled on,
        his pace racing
            and his pitch rising
            in intensity.

    Finally he paused
        for breath,
    and Don Rock de'Boat
        tried to rein him in:
    "I appreciate your creativity,
        really I do,
            but our current product line
            is doing just fine.
    "I don't see the need
        for this new widget you're proposing.

    "Thanks for stopping by,
        but I have a ton of paperwork to do."

    He nodded toward the door,
        indicating that N. Thusiasm
            should leave.

    Poor N. Thusiasm.
    His high hopes
        had been dashed.
    I watched him as he left
    Don Rock de'Boat's office,
        his head down,
        his shoulders slumped.

    He was so disappointed.
        I could understand why.

    Running into NO
        really brings you down
        with a thud.

    Sometime later
    I noticed someone else venturing into
        the Land of NO.

    Wynot Now was his name.

    I didn't know him well,
    but I'd seen him around
        the Land of NO before.

    I nodded hello
        as he passed me.

    He smiled hello in return.
    "Can't stop to chat," he said.
    "I have something that needs approval
        right away."

    "OK, catch you later,"
        I replied,
    as he hurried on his way.

    I watched
        as he knocked on a door
            and then went in.

    May B. Later was on the phone,
    and she motioned for him
        to hold on
    while she finished
        her conversation.

    When she hung up,
        he could see
        that she wasn't happy.
    She seemed distressed
        and distracted
            by the phone call.

    She tried to erase her frown
        as she turned her attention to
            Wynot Now.

    "What's up?"
        she asked.

    "I have the proposal
    we discussed last week.
    I've been working on it
        with my team
        ever since you and I talked,"
            Wynot replied.
    "It's ready for your signature."

    "Oh my," she sighed,
        as the furrows
            in her brow deepened.

    "You couldn't have come
        at a worse time.
    You wouldn't believe
        the week I've had."

    Wynot Now didn't know
        what to say ...

    The two of them
        just looked at each other
            in silence.

    "Just leave it here,"
        May B. Later finally said,
           extending her hand
            to take the proposal.

    "I'll get to it when I can."

    Wynot handed it to her,
        but he had an awful feeling
            in the pit of his stomach.

    "When should I expect
    to hear back from you?"
        he asked.

    "Not sure,"
        she replied.
    "Like I said,
    I'll get to it when I can."

    Wynot Now knew better than to push.
    He'd dealt with May B. Later before.

    "Well, thanks for your time,"
        he muttered lamely
            as he headed out the door.

    "Sure, no problem,"
        she said
            as she picked up her phone again.

    Wynot Now closed the door carefully
        behind him,
            making sure
            not to let it slam.

    I saw the look on his face
        as he passed me again.
    I could see he was frustrated.

    He didn't say a word,
        but he didn't have to.

    "Too bad," I thought to myself,
        "I'm sure it was a good proposal."

    I learned a few things
        from the experiences
            of N. Thusiasm
            and Wynot Now.

    But they weren't having
        any more success
            than I was.

    I began to wonder ...
        "Maybe there is no YES
        in the Land of NO,
        after all.
            Maybe I'm on
            a futile quest,
            along with everybody else."

    I decided to watch more people
        and see if they fared any better.

    Ima Newheer's adventure
        was of a different sort.

    She'd heard all about
    the Land of NO
        before she ventured in.
    She felt that her fresh perspective
        was just what the Land of NO needed.
    She would transform
        this negative place
            in no time!

    Eager to make her mark,
        she set to work
            right away,
    formulating grand plans
        and creating a lofty vision
           for what she wanted to accomplish.

    She worked hard to prepare
    an impressive presentation
    for the leadership team,
        B. A. Skeptic,
        Nomo Money,
        and Stan S. Quo.

    She scheduled time
        on their calendars;
    she booked a conference room;
        she worked on her Pow R. Point slides.

    She took great pains
        to make sure that
            she'd covered all her bases.

    Her Big Day arrived,
    and Ima Newheer did a great job,
        according to Nomo Money's assistant,
            ReNay Sayer,
            who also sat in on the meeting.

    I've worked with ReNay
    many times in the past,
        and I know
        she's not easily impressed.

    But she told me later
        that Ima Newheer
            had made a good presentation.

    the leadership team didn't go for it.

    Stan S. Quo told her,
    "I admire your imagination
    and your ambition,
        but you're new ...
    you clearly don't understand
    how things work here."

    "Right," chimed in Nomo Money,
    "and especially
        our financial planning process.

    "What you're proposing
        is entirely too expensive.
    What assurance do we have
        that our return on investment
            will be as high
            as you suggest?"


Excerpted from YES Lives in the Land of NO by BJ Gallagher Steve Ventura Copyright © 2006 by BJ Gallagher. Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

BJ Gallagher is an inspirational author, speaker, and seminar leader. She writes popular womenas books including Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Other Women and Friends Are Everything, as well as best-selling business books, including A Peacock in the Land of Penguins, which has sold more than 300,000 copies in 17 languages. Her work is featured in various magazines from O, The Oprah Magazine to Womanas World and First for Women. BJ is passionate about friendships, family, creativity, self-expression, and health. Her commitment to women being accountable for their own choices in life makes her work both inspirational and practical a calling women to own their lives and create their own futures, no matter what pain the past holds.

Steve Ventura is a recognized and respected author, graphic artist, book producer, educator, and award-winning training program designer. His work reflects over 25 years of human resource development experience-as both a practitioner and a consultant, and over 10 years in law enforcement. As a consultant and trainer, Mr. Ventura has worked with notable organizations, including AT&T, GE, Shell Oil, Allied-Signal Aerospace, General Dynamics, PacBell, Northwest Airlines, and others.

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