If you ever thought that maybe there's a little more to life, decided that Mondays are only rubbish because your job isn't good for you or wished your friends were the type of people who would say YES when you suggested it was time for an adventure, you’ve just found your tribe.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
For years “say yes more” had been a personal mantra for Dave Cornthwaite, who had quit his job as the world’s worst graphic designer mainly because he realised he was less happy than his cat. Dave went on to take on all kinds of amazing, human-powered journeys, breaking some weird and wonderful world records and creating a career as an adventurer, speaker, author and filmmaker.
In June 2015 Dave decided to try and turn his Facebook followers into real humans and posted an invite for people to come camping with him. The 19 people that turned up under that London train station clock became the first members of the YesTribe, and since then SayYesMore has blossomed, not just into three words that easily slip into the daily vocabulary of positive people, but into a growing community based on helping its members redesign their lives for the better.
WHAT IS SAYYESMORE?
At heart SayYesMore is an addictive little motto that drives the most optimistic of our daily decisions. And now this motto that has turned into a movement that helps nudge people towards finding out what they’re really capable of.
We're a social enterprise run by a team of friends who met through the YesTribe, a now global community that uses social media to bring people together in the real world, often outside.
We create events, spaces and situations that help people, ideas and mindsets blossom. Whether it's supporting brave decisions, encouraging adventurous thinking, finding (or creating) work that we love or simply designing a lifestyle that fits perfectly with our individual personalities and needs, we figure that if we look after ourselves and those around us and don't forget to have fun along the way, the world will be a much better place.
YesTribers have raised well over £1,000,000 for good causes since we started in 2015, and have travelled tens of thousands of miles on human-powered journeys. They've set up charities, businesses and social enterprises. We cheer every time someone quits a job that doesn't make them feel very good, and hold workshops, trips and retreats that help anyone going through a tough but ultimately rewarding lifestyle transition.
Every year we put on a microfestival for positive change called Yestival just south of London, our flagship event. But all-year round we host weekly free wild campouts where anyone is welcome to join, monthly motivating nights of inspiration and adventurous tales called YesStories, regular gatherings of all kinds from BBQs to river paddles and adventure-planning meetings that we like to call A Little Cup of Adventure. We even bought a double-decker bus to convert into an amazing solar powered community and co-working space where ideas can become reality. It’s really cool, you should definitely check it out.
WHY SAY YES?
It’s the key to not letting life pass you by. It’s easy to get into a habit, and when that habit is ‘no’ you end up hiding away by default, not challenging yourself and growing stale. Saying yes more means your life (and by default, you) becomes interesting, you create memories and stories and learn new skills, all of which ultimately means you become better at saying yes to the right things, and people.
Saying yes means something different to everyone, depending on their stage in life, but our intention is for it to be a call to action for anyone wanting to make life count, and a reminder that in any given moment we can choose positive or negative, and that small positive lifestyle changes make a big difference.
We live in a society riddled with expectations and life can sometimes seem harder than ever. Stress and a call to work long hours is at odds with the pressure we feel to live picture-perfect lives, and the easy, free solution to many mental health issues is to simply get outside and hang out with people that make you feel good, because they accept you as you are.
Every time we do something new we grow, so not being afraid to fail and making the most of every day means we have to grasp opportunities when they come along. Based around forming strong face-to-face communities and the power of spending time in nature, SayYesMore is an affirmation that habitually saying yes is a surefire foundation of a kind, happy and enjoyable life, and a reminder during our hardest times that we're always capable of more.
First time? Here's your next step...
1) Join the YesTribe group on Facebook, you'll find all of our events behind the tab at the top of that page. And don’t forget to check out this page of all our regional and global tribes - there might be one nearby.
2) Sign up to our newsletter, where you'll get fortnightly doses of motivating tribe stories and news
3) Come on a campout or another event and meet the tribe. We know turning up to something without knowing anyone can be daunting sometimes, but remember, everyone turned up for the first time at some point :)
4) Get involved. We've only been around as an organisation (and not just three words) since June 2015 and we're growing fast. If you'd like to volunteer and develop skills and our direction in the process, check out the jobs available
5) Be inspired. Amazing things have happened since this tribe started, it's wonderful what a bit of support and some time spent outside does for us. Check out the Tribe Stories page to see what everyone has been up to, and start cooking up your own story to tell.
Here’s a true story
by Henry Blanchard, Founder of the Uganda Marathon
It all begins with a talk from our very own YES-man Dave Cornthwaite, about two and a half years ago. I was sitting in a generic London bar with Nick, Tim & JP. Not really sure what to expect, apart from that this guy had skateboarded across Australia and apparently could now make a living off the back of it. Which we thought sounded pretty cool.
I think a lot of us can empathise with our sentiments at the time: we weren't really sure what we wanted to do but knew that surely there *had* to be more to life than commute, work, retire, die? Right?
One hour of Dave-fuelled inspiration later, we decided on a whim to “say yes” to an impromptu 3 peaks challenge, with no kit, no preparation, no training and no idea.
We survived to tell the tale - and it was a hell of an adventure.
After that, things suddenly seemed more… possible. Because, as it turns out, one YES will have lots of little YES babies, if you give it the chance.
One of those fertile little YES rabbits has multiplied (via lots of little YESes with Escape the City, Project Awesome and the Yes Tribe) and led to us creating a week long festival in Uganda, that culminates in a marathon - bringing together 200 international visitors with 3,000 locals for a run that is all about fun, social impact and community, not beating the clock (boring!).
We’ve even got Dave C coming along to Uganda as well - not only to film the event, but to give another talk to everyone there. Who knows what the ripple effects of him doing this talk will be?! How many more YES’s will come from it?
The latest step on this particular YES journey has been epic - and what I wanted to tell you about. Last Friday, the Uganda International Marathon won the award for “Best International Event” at the official UK Running Awards. Totally mental. A group of twenty-somethings with no experience and no real idea of what they were doing - just a drive to create something meaningful and positive in the world.
...18 months later and we’re beating the New York, Paris, Berlin, Boston, Athens Marathons and more to be crowned the best running event in the world outside the UK. It’s nuts. Really, really nuts. Say YES more and shit gets cray!
Thank you to everyone here for your support - and the dozen of you YEStribers actually coming out to spend a week with us on the Equator - and if you’ve seen me say something similar in the Project Awesome group then thank you for your patience reading both too ;)
What can you say YES to today? And where could that YES take you in 18 months if you let it?