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Saying yes to everything

Hey friends, I came across some advice during my early university years that really helped me develop
Saying yes to everything
By Ali Abdaal • Issue #34 • View online
Hey friends,
I came across some advice during my early university years that really helped me develop as a person. It went something like:
When you’re early on in your career/life, say yes to everything that comes your way. Later on, only say yes to the things you’re really excited about. 
I can remember various opportunities and events that came up, that I wouldn’t have attended were it not for this piece of advice telling me to say yes to everything. Sure, in hindsight, some of them were a bit pointless. But others led to lasting friendships, business partnerships, inspiration in one form or another, and even a couple of fleeting romances. 
Another major benefit of saying yes to everything was that it forced me to become more efficient with my studying. When I had 8 events to attend the following week, along with 3 essays to hand in, it forced me to not waste time and to bash through the work so that I could do something better with my time. It would have been so easy to tell myself and others ‘sorry I’ve got too much work, I can’t make it today’ but (for the most part) I managed to avoid that excuse for all 6 years of university - in hindsight, I’m really glad I rarely used work as an excuse for not doing other things. 
Finally, and at the very least, saying yes to everything means you end up meeting more people which helps develop your social skills, confidence and charisma. These are skills that help everyone, and that don’t develop when you’re sitting in your room alone poring over some work that realistically, you could have finished in half the time. 
One of the questions that someone sent in for the 100k subscribers Q&A was ‘what advice would you give to someone just starting university’ and this would probably be it. Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. You’ll be really glad you did. 
Have a great week!
Ali

Stuff I’ve been enjoying this week
(1) Fiction - I read the first book of Thirst, a vampire fantasy/romance series by Christopher Pike, on the recommendation of someone who replied to last week’s email (thanks Razwana!). It was an engaging read but I probably won’t continue with the rest of the series as the characters were a bit too one-dimensional for my liking. If you’re interested in paranormal romance as a genre, the Psy-Changeling series is my favourite so far.
(2) Photography - I really liked this YouTube video by Chris Hau on improving your mobile photography. We all take photos with our phones all the time - given that, I think it’s worth trying to get better at it :)
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Ali Abdaal

Hey friends, I'm Ali, a Cambridge medicine graduate now working as an FY1 junior doctor. I spend most of my spare time making YouTube videos, but every Sunday I send out an email 'newsletter' with some thoughts, life lessons and interesting articles I discover on the internet.

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Ali Abdaal, Cambridge, UK.