Jason Fried

May 12, 2023


In the past I’ve written about how I used to be a hothead, reacting instantly to whatever I disagreed with. I didn’t even let someone finish their thought before I started forming my rebuttal. The remainder of their statement was just filler before I could slam back.

I’m far from perfect, and I still occasionally catch myself doing this today, but far less frequently. And when I do it, I spot it and correct for it. I’d say I’m 90% better.

Lately I’ve been using another tool to help create some space before I form an opinion. It’s a simple word called “yet”.

Over the past years I’ve found a lot of joy in things I’d normally have dismissed. And it’s all because of “yet”.

Instead of “I don’t like that color”, it’s “I don’t like that color… yet”. Instead of I don’t like that taste, it’s “I don’t like that taste… yet”. I still may ultimately decide I don’t like it, don’t prefer it, or don’t want it, but yet provides a buffer. It allows me to absorb something, rather than repel it. To try it on for size over time, vs. to push it away immediately.

There are so many things I’ve ended up loving, appreciating, and savoring that I would have previously rejected impulsively.

What I’ve found is obvious: You don’t need to have an opinion on everything. Instead, just be open. Let it settle in. Get used to it. Give it a chance. And then you’ll know. Or not! It’s ok not to know where you stand on something. It’s actually a lot more interesting.

There’s so much freedom in not having an opinion yet (or ever). Minds are expected to be made up these days. In a flash, no less. No thanks. I’ll just let it roll around for a while with no deadline. There’s no rush, and very little benefit to rush to judgement. You just might find, as I have, that there’s a lot more to like and discover and revel in when you simply allow yourself to wait. Bask in the maybe for a while.

This is different than indecision. When decisions do need to be made, I make them. But many things in life don’t need decisions — they’re just experiences. And having more experience with something, rather than less, is a great way to get to know the depth and wonder inherent in the things we’re often quick to push away.


About Jason Fried

Hey! I'm Jason, the Co-Founder and CEO at 37signals, makers of Basecamp and HEY. Subscribe below to follow my thinking on business, design, product development, and whatever else is on my mind. Thanks for visiting, thanks for reading.