Yes Please – Amy Poehler
“Yes please” sounds powerful and concise. It’s a response and a request. It is not about being a good girl; it is about being a real woman. – Amy Poehler
Setting aside time to read is one of the most important things to me, and it isn’t always easy to find that time. But once in awhile you come across one of those books that you just can’t put down, no matter how many other things are piling up. To me, the best books are those that are engaging to that point but also encourage and inspire. I’ve been lucky enough to come across a handful of those books, and some of them were more of a surprise than others.
The first book on my list of those that inspire is the unapologetically hilarious Yes Please by Amy Poehler. We all know, and (I can only assume) love Amy Poehler and so it’s no surprise that her book was fabulous and incredibly funny. Even knowing how strong of a woman and how hard of a worker she is I never expected so much real wisdom to be included in her book.
Yes Please is broken into 3 sections, 1. Say Whatever You Want 2. Do Whatever You Want 3. Be Whoever You Are, and those section titles alone speak a world of positive advice. She goes through the standard motions of telling great stories about her life and career path to her success, and through those stories offers practical advice that I believe everyone can benefit from. She talks about the colleagues she’s had, her ex-husband, her nanny, her parents, her kids, and she does it all in a very humbling, kind, and respectful manner.
A few of my favorite quotes from the book:
On career: You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look. I realize this is extremely difficult. I am not saying I am particularly good at it. I’m like you. Or maybe you’re better at this than I am.
On apologizing, and being a woman: It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate. I am still learning the right balance.
On tough times: Any painful experience makes you see things differently. It also reminds you of the simple truths that we purposely forget every day or else we would never get out of bed. Things like, nothing lasts forever and relationships can end. The best that can happen is you learn a little more about what you can handle and you stay soft through the pain.
And maybe the most important: Nobody looks stupid when they are having fun.