Monday, 11 June 2012

Begin with Yes - Paul Boynton

"Contrary to what we've been taught, the secret to a good life is not about having a positive attitude; it's about taking positive actions." Paul Boynton

I 'met' Paul Boynton and Begin with Yes, through the awesome La Diva; she had been interviewed by Paul for Empower Radio. I listened to their half an hour chat with great interest. Firstly, because I got to hear La Diva's voice (and she sounded exactly as I'd imagined - full of energy and enthusiasm) and then, I was hearing Paul in action. It was a couple of months before I set up my Facebook page for the Lighthouse Network, but I remembered him and 'liked' his page. I genuinely adore his picture quotations: great messages with gorgeous pictures. Very positive, supportive and inspiring: all of the attributes for the Lighthouse Network!

I thought it would be good to share Paul's book with you. I bought it on my Kindle through Amazon and I'm really glad I have it. It is laid out as a conversation, rather than a traditional book with chapters, in a question and answer format. He also uses real-world examples of how his clients and other people he's known have used the Begin with Yes strategy. I really like this approach. It addresses and challenges peoples' queries about the system, without preaching.

It's breathtaking in it's simplicity. In a nutshell, he is saying positive attitude is fine and great, but actually, it's not enough. It's not enough to be positive, you've got to act positively. By acting positively, you'll get the Life you want. By acting positively, he means: identify what it is you want to achieve, make a plan on how you're going to achieve it and make a small step towards it every day. 

Boynton's approach is compassionate and generous. He does recommend being positive, but acknowledges that there are times and circumstances where it's very difficult to maintain that 'can do' attitude. He says it's important to acknowledge the difficult times, being blindly positive is an inauthentic response which is ultimately unhelpful. However, using Begin with Yes in challenging circumstances, becomes more important than ever. It means your dreams don't get derailed with the rest of your Life. You're responding to the difficulties in front of you, whilst keeping your ultimate goal firmly in the forefront of your mind.

I like his no-nonsense, straight-talking delivery. He makes no promises that Life will be perfect, everything will turn out as expected, you'll live happily ever after. What he says is you're far more likely to succeed using the Begin with Yes strategy, than if you start each endeavour with a negative attitude.

Begin with Yes is a short book, it's well-written, accessible and it's very clear what it's all about.  Personally, I've written out the strategy and stuck it to my board, to keep me focussed. It doesn't make unrealistic promises neither does it patronise in the way that some self-help books do. Paul Boynton comes across as the kind of guy you'd want to meet up in the pub and as the Yanks say 'shoot the breeze'. He doesn't have the ego that many within the self-help circuit cultivate.

I realise this is not so much a review as a recommendation. Ah well. Be that as it may, it's worth a read. If I were you, I'd also 'like' Begin with Yes, Facebook Page. I mis-remember a quote that goes motivation is like bathing, you've got to do it every day - it's great having his reminders in your newsfeed. 

Anyway darlings. Enjoy! Have you already read his book? Are you a fan? Let me know what you think!


  1. I actually bought Paul's book well after the interview and find it to be incredibly practical with common sense advice. Being a "positive" person myself (with a good dose of cynicism and snark thrown in,) I was always annoyed by the ideas put forth in "The Secret" that if you just envision something or create a vision board, you could make it happen. (I realize I'm over simplifying this!) but Paul's idea of combining action with positivity and to "just begin" is such simple, great advice. Many of us are to paralyzed with fear to make any real change as change is uncomfortable. Paul's book helps you to "be okay" with that feeling of uncomfortableness that leads to real change and propels one forward.

    I love how the power of positivity and action just keeps propelling forward amongst my friends too. My friend "turned me on" to Paul and "Begin with Yes" I've introduced you and my two cousins to it and now you are paying it forward!

    And I love his reminders on Facebook too, always so inspiring. Thanks for posting this, Roses, I'm glad the book has made an impact. I do hope you will let Paul know about this post, he would be tickled! xoxoxo

    1. Well my darling, you are my inspiration! Your 'can do' attitude, generosity and support you've given's what it's all about! We're all in this together, so I'm definitely up for sharing The Light.

      I've not read The Secret. I'll put it on my list. I'm already feeling my left-eye go all twitchy.

      I did link Paul in my blogging notification, but you're right, I should drop him a line.

  2. (and thanks for the sweet comments towards me as well, you darling, lovely girl! xoxoxo)

    1. Bless your heart for saying so, but you're one of the people who've inspired me.

      See, I'm blaming you for my current path! You were the one who said 'follow your dreams'! I'm just learning from the best!

      Hugs and hugs to you too my darling. One day we will be sipping cocktails together, watching the sun go down. Promise.

    2. I love Paul. He has been a friend and a mentor for over a year! You described his book beautifully:)

    3. Hi Laura

      I'm glad I've done a good job on his book! And wonderful that you've experienced the learning, straight from the man himself.

      Good luck with your positive steps my dear, please pop back again and let us know how you're getting on.


  3. I love Paul Boynton and also believe good mental health is achieved by actually DOING something rather than waiting for something good to happen. My boxing coach has always said to me;

    "not every thing that's good for us, feels good at first".. that's a bunch of push ups AND doing things mentally/spiritually that are difficult but ultimately so very helpful.

    Great post! XOXOX. Can I be there with you and LaDiva sipping those drinks? :-)

    1. I'm going to be taking your boxing coach's advice that's for sure. It's about time I got fit.

      Honey, I thought we were all meeting up on Savannah's porch? Whatever happens, we have got to get together in real life, sooner rather than later. I'm amassing this huge pile of hugs to give to you and I don't know where to put them all anymore.


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