Hell Yeah or No

Derek Sivers just published a new book. It is called “HELL YEAH OR NO” and you can get it on Derek’s website. Having enjoyed Derek’s blog articles and podcast a lot, buying his book, which also includes an audio version, was a no-brainer for me. Derek is a musician, producer, circus performer, and entrepreneur, who, as a musician in New York City, founded the mail-order company CD Baby to distribute his and his friends’ music. It grew into a successful online business. In 2007, he decided to sell CD Baby and since then, he has been writing and speaking about entrepreneurship, creativity, and learning.

The new book is a collection of ideas and approaches to life he collected on his website over the years. And it is full of advice that is often so simple yet hits the nail on the head in a charming, pragmatic, and thoughtful way.

Just to give you two examples:

First, take the title idea of the book, “HELL YEAH OR NO.” We all tend to say yes to far too many things. And before we know it, we are so busy that when a real opportunity comes our way, we don’t have the time and mind to react and will miss an opportunity we would have been excited about. So Derek suggests that unless you are feeling “Hell yeah, that would be awesome!” about something, say no. It makes the decision much easier and you can make sure that once a great opportunity arrives, you can give it your full attention.

Refuse almost everything. Do almost nothing. But the things you do, do them all the way.

Equally intriguing is this other idea from the book: Some people are more present-focused, while others are more future-focused. Present-focused people only live in the present moment and for today and, for example, are playful, impulsive, and sensual. They can get fully immersed in the moment and lose track of time. Future-focused people, on the other hand, see the present more as a stepping stone for their future selves. They can see their future goals and delay gratification to reach them and “live in their minds, picturing other selves, scenarios, and possible futures.” Think about yourself and the people near and dear to you: Who is more present-focused and who is more future-focused? In the end, as Derek points out, both mindsets are necessary.

You need a present-focus to enjoy life. But too much present-focus can prevent the deeper happiness of achievement.


This is the 44th post of my 100 days of writing series. You can find a list of all posts here.


11 Webmentions

Photo of Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers
Thanks Matthias. That was cool to read your take on it.
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Matthias Ott
😊; Thank *you* for the book, Derek. I enjoy it a lot!