49 Days ’til 40: No, No, No, No, No, No, Yes

03 Jan


I must admit that the thoughts I share today are not my own, but are inspired by Gideon Amichay.  Gideon is the chief creative officer at one of Israel’s largest marketing agencies, but prior to his current job, he lived in New York.  He moved to New York with one goal – to have one of his cartoons published in the New Yorker.  Recently, I was moved when I heard a Tedx talk given by Gideon (got to love TED!) entitled “No, No, No, No, No, No, Yes.”

Here is the AMAZING talk:

Gideon spoke of his perseverance and journey through hundreds, and even over a thousand rejections from the New Yorker magazine until his cartoons were eventually accepted and published.  His talk is not about the end result of his meeting his goal, but about perseverance.  He talks about the fact that “no” has a comma after it, NOT a period – that as we receive “nos” in life we can remember that if we continue to follow our dreams and set our goals we will eventually receive that “yes”.

I have certainly seen this in my own life.  12 years ago when I was beginning the adoption process of my youngest (she is the youngest, but first adopted) I was living overseas.  The country I was living in was not known for being as safe as the USA.  As such, US agencies were hesitant to assist me in adopting until I was living in the USA again.  As my career had me overseas for an indefinite time span, I did not want to wait.  It took me THREE YEARS and dozens of agencies before I finally got the golden answer, “oh yes, we just helped a couple in Kuwait adopt, so there will be no problem helping you.”  I was thrilled.  I started the process and 14 months later my daughter came home.  Finding an agency was a horrific struggle, and waiting three years for someone to say “yes” was incredibly discouraging.  At times I even questioned whether I was really supposed to be a mother, as all adoption doors were slammed shut.  But eventually I found that agency and the door opened.  The process was fairly smooth (as smooth as international adoption can be) from there.  When my daughter was placed in my arms, over 8 years ago, something powerful occurred to me.  Had I received a “yes” when I wanted it – then my daughter would not be with me.  She was not even born when I started the process – in fact, she was born shortly after I found the agency that said “yes”.  As I cannot begin to imagine my life without her, I look back with gratitude that so many agencies said “no” – as it created the opportunity to lead me to the daughter I have today.

Gideon spoke eloquently (and humorously) about our need to keep the larger picture in mind, and our need to understand that our nos really do not have periods after them, they do have those commas and we can choose to continue to persevere until we find our “yes”.

Click HERE to go to Gideon’s website.

Click HERE to see his drawings that were bought by the New Yorker, his dream come true!  (He also has other great drawings on his page!)

Today, 49 days ’til 40, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to hear Gideon speak – what an important message for us all to hear.  May we all remember that the nos in our lives have commas after them, not periods – and may that encourage us as we persevere.



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34 responses to “49 Days ’til 40: No, No, No, No, No, No, Yes

  1. Ray Laskowitz

    January 3, 2013 at 00:50

    Good words. Thank you.

  2. behindthemaskofabuse

    January 3, 2013 at 01:32

    oh man did i need to hear this! thank you. i’m so happy for you that you have your wonderful daughter!

    • 400daystil40

      January 3, 2013 at 23:33

      Yes, I really needed to hear this too! 🙂

  3. Stefanie Neumann

    January 3, 2013 at 01:34

    Thank you – this post is an encouraging gift for me! 🙂

  4. walkwiththerabbi

    January 3, 2013 at 03:36

    Life will most surely test us, sometimes painfully so, to validate the depth of our hunger. Persist without reservation and for as long as it takes, and she will in time grant you the desire of your heart – without question.

  5. Another Thousand Words

    January 3, 2013 at 05:14

    Great post, and thanks for the link, 400! I like to thinks the ‘No,’ is followed by a ‘…but on the other hand…’! Before saying ‘No’ we must think things through…visit every avenue, as my father taught me.

    I am so pleased to hear the saga of the adoption…and believe people, like your daughter, come into our lives for a reason…if only to be loved! Your persistence and perseverance made her yours, forever…and THAT is miraculous!

  6. transitionstande

    January 3, 2013 at 05:23

    Good message to remember.

  7. Jennifer Stuart

    January 3, 2013 at 05:27

    That is such a cool thing to think about!

  8. ahmedfraih

    January 3, 2013 at 07:20

    The good point is that your blogs always have something new, an added value , inspiring ideas, and they often insist on something I’ve read in a book or watched in a movie which keeps me following you constantly. Best of luck 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      January 3, 2013 at 23:28

      Thanks, Ahmed! And best of luck to you in the coming year too!

  9. Spider42

    January 3, 2013 at 13:15

    Absolutely fantastic post and may I just say that as a writer (including of comics to boot!) in a place that does not embrace what I write and a harsh publication business out there, I appreciate the spirit of this post more than you know and I look forward to seeing that talk someday soon.
    And yes, TED talks are beyond fantastic. I love them.
    This post reminded me of that Douglas Adams line I keep using over and over and have likely shared with you about being where you are and all that… another concept I am strongly attached to in it’s own way. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      January 3, 2013 at 23:25

      Thank you! I hope you check in and the talk just went up on YouTube and I was able to post it! 🙂 I hope it encourages you as much as it did me (I also needed to hear it).

      • Spider42

        January 4, 2013 at 08:26

        Thanks for the info, will be bobbing over to youtube monetarily.

        • Spider42

          January 4, 2013 at 08:27

          *moMENtarily (sorry…)

        • 400daystil40

          January 5, 2013 at 19:49

          I hope you made it to YouTube to see the great video!

  10. colormusing

    January 3, 2013 at 18:41

    Wonderful story about your daughter!

  11. jontystales

    January 3, 2013 at 19:20

    Love this picture you have captured so much with the simplicity of the subject.

  12. sharonhughson

    January 4, 2013 at 00:33

    Thanks for such an encouraging post. Usually, a new year gives me a fresh outlook on the possibilities of finally attaining my dreams, but this year doesn’t feel like a rebirth. Your words helped me reevaluate my negative attitude and accept that the impossibility is only there in my mind because I’m allowing it.

    • 400daystil40

      January 5, 2013 at 19:53

      Thank you so much for your comment! You bring up a very good point.

  13. artistspromenade

    January 9, 2013 at 23:32

    Having gone through the arduous and exhausting adoption process, I know for sure that all the
    No s that I heard meant that this was not my child. When I heard yes and held my son, I knew why I had heard no before…this was my child. The one I had been waiting for. It was a humbling lesson I’m so grateful to have received. I’m glad you too perservered and have your grateful blessing as well.

    • 400daystil40

      January 10, 2013 at 22:20

      Thank you so much, it sounds like we had a similar experience!

  14. toniandrukaitis

    January 13, 2013 at 02:46

    Sharing your words seems to be influencing many people. I will try and appreciate my commas more now, thanks to you.


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