Words to Live By: Lessons from "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler

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Jessica - Middle Tennessee State
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Amy Poehler Yes Please cover


Image Credit: ELLE

If you're in the market for a new role-model/hero/life coach/celebrity BFF, then look no further. Amy Poehler's Yes Pleaseis pretty much the greatest book I've owned in a long time, and not just because it's absolutely hilarious.

Aside from how funny and entertaining her book is, I've discovered that Amy Poehler is practically the poster child for the kind of woman I want to be. I can't tell you how many times I caught myself nodding in agreement with her throughout the entire book, or how many times I shook it above my head and murmured "Yessssss!" because the things she talks about are so relatable.

I honestly could have chosen close to 100 quotes, but for the sake of time (and your attention span), here are four life lessons from Yes Please.

The Future

"Great people do things before they're ready. They do things before they know they can do it."

This quote really spoke to me, especially since I read the book right before I graduated a few months ago. I was incredibly anxious about my future, and I convinced myself that I wasn't prepared to walk across that stage in front of thousands of people and finalize the end of a huge chapter of my life. I wasn't ready to start thinking about taking the GRE, applying to grad schools, moving away, finding a big girl job... the list goes on and on.

I still don't feel ready, but that's okay. If we all spent our entire lives waiting until we felt 100% ready for what the future holds, we would rarely make any progress, and nothing would be exciting. Taking a leap of faith can lead to incredible achievements, and perhaps a bit of failure, but we'll never know unless we try.

Moving Forwards

“You can only move if you are actually in the moment. You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.”

More often than not, I find myself living in, or revisiting, the past. I am a creature of habit, and I'll openly admit that the threat of change usually scares me half to death. The past is comfortable because there's no way to be anxious about that which has already occurred, and there are no "what-ifs" in yesterday.

As tempting as it may be to fight change and ground your feet in the past, you'll never discover what's ahead of you if you're always looking back. Accept your present situations and circumstances, note what needs to change or what you would like to stay the same, and work towards those goals and be in the moment, rather than retreating backwards and hiding from the inevitability of the future.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler high five


Image Credit: ELLE

Loving Yourself

"Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do. Sometimes it works."

This is so true, so important, and, at times, so difficult to remember. We all have those days where our confidence isn't where it needs to be; where we feel mediocre, or incompetent, or just plain bad about ourselves. It's completely normal, and I'm sure even Beyoncé herself has moments of self doubt from time to time, but it's crucial that you make every attempt to dissolve those toxic thoughts as soon as you possibly can.

Sticking up for yourself in the same way you would your best friend, as Amy advises, really does work. In the moments where I feel doubt or insecurity creeping into my mind, I try to mentally step away for a moment and think of myself as if I were one of my best friends. I think they're brilliant, beautiful, talented, and truly capable of achieving anything they set their minds to - and I would never allow anyone to try and convince me otherwise. This is how we need to treat ourselves. I promise you, your best friends think you're a super star, and it's totally OK to agree with them.

Respecting Others

"Good for her! Not for me. That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”

As we age, our lives will continue to become more and more unique from those around us. Some of us will have children while we're young, some will have children when we're older, and some may not have children at all. The same goes for marriage, careers, sexualities, or whether or not we have a high school diploma, bachelor's degree, or a PhD. We are all different, and one path in life may not suit you, but it will suit someone else. That's OK!

Rather than putting other women (or people, in general) down for their life choices, try celebrating them instead. As long as the other person is happy, why bother criticizing them for the way they're living their life? Doing so does not mean that you have to adhere to the same lifestyle, it simply means that you support the other person in the right to make their own decisions about their own life, just as you'd hope they would do for you. The world can never have too much positivity floating around, so go crazy with that stuff.

 What do you think?

Are you as obsessed with Amy Poehler's book as we are? Which of these quotes spoke to you the most? Are there any you would add to the list? Leave a comment down below and get the conversation started!