The Power of Yes

Yes. A powerful positive word. The most positive word. Yet everyone talks about hope. They think about hope. They pray for hope. What a powerful word hope is. Think about its dominance as the unifying and urgent supplication in President Obama’s pursuit of his American dream. What if we take it to its reasonable next step? What are we hoping for? It’s yes. We are always hoping for yes. We’re not hoping for its opposite. That wouldn’t be very positive, would it? It’s yes we want to hear. A marriage proposal? A job interview? A car loan? Yes, yes, and yes.

Yes [yes] adverb 1. affirmation or assent 2. emphatic contradiction of a negative statement 3. hesitation or curiosity 4. show polite interest. verb (with object) 5. yessed, yes·sing. interjection 6. a strong expression of joy or approval. dictionary
Synonyms: amen, aye, beyond a doubt, by all means, certainly, definitely, even so, exactly, fine, gladly, good, good enough, granted, indubitably, just so, most assuredly, naturally, of course, positively, precisely, sure thing, surely, true, undoubtedly, unquestionably, very well, willingly, without fail, yea, yep. thesaurus
Origin: before 900 M.E. yes, yis O.E. gise, gese “so be it!” from gea, ge so (yea) + sibe it!” Stronger than yea. Used by Shakespeare as an answer to negative questions. etymology

Word.Yes.ObamaYesWeCanAfter winning the Democratic presidential primary in South Carolina, Barack Obama offered these inspiring remarks in his Yes We Can Change speech:

“Don’t tell me we can’t change.
es, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can.
Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future.
And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words: yes, we can.”

“Despite one of music’s most positive names the veteran quintet Yes has seen more than its share of turbulence and rivalries over a life span that has now reached its 45th year.” (Steve Smith, The New York Times, April 11, 2013)

Word.Yes.YesLogoThe 70’s prog-rock band is currently on tour. And yes, Yes is still relevant. Their lyrics were quixotic, their music was hypnotic – but it was the great Roger Dean who made Yes legendary. Amplifying their image, he created their inimitable and ultimately iconic logo and album cover artwork. Typical of their positive message are the lyrics Chris Squire and Jon Anderson wrote:

I’ve Seen All Good People:

“Don’t surround yourself with yourself
Move on back two squares
Send an instant karma to me
Initial it with loving care.”

Yes is powerful because it is positively empowering. We regularly face all sorts of hardships – as a nation, in our communities, in our businesses, and as individuals needing, striving, yearning to survive. By focusing on those things we can accomplish, that we can say yes to, we endure. We even thrive. If we can dream it, why not go for it? As a marketer, I always tell clients, “I don’t say no. There is always a way to do something. There is always yes.” Who better to have the definitive word on yes than marketing guru and all-around positive thinker Seth Godin:

On Behalf of Yes

“Yes, it’s okay to ship your work.
Yes, you’re capable of making a difference.
Yes, it’s important.
Yes, you can ignore that critic.
Yes, your bravery is worth it.
Yes, we believe in you.
Yes, you can do even better.

Word.Yes.checkmarkYes is an opportunity and yes is an obligation. The closer we get to people who are confronting the resistance on their way to making a ruckus, the more they let us in, the greater our obligation is to focus on the yes.

There will always be a surplus of people eager to criticize, nitpick or recommend caution. Your job, at least right now, is to reinforce the power of the yes.”


Yes, We Can Change speech:
Barack Obama poster by Antar Dayal:
Yes song lyrics:, Alfred Publishing Company, Inc.
Yes logo:
Seth Godin blog post: Seth’s Blog at


  1. YES. The word in inspirational and a beacon of light through all adversity. YES, YES, YES!!!

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